Asbestos delays Old Junky demolition

Asbestos found in the ceilings and near window frames has prolonged the life of a century-old Marlborough pub, the new owners confirm.

The Junction Hotel was supposed to be demolished on July 22, after regulars packed out the beloved pub for its final night on July 6.

Nelson Petroleum Distributors (NPD) bought the hotel earlier this year so its self-service petrol station next door could expand into the site.

Within a few days, tape warning of an asbestos dust hazard had appeared outside the site.

An NPD spokesman said work started to remove the pumps and tanks next door on July 25.

But asbestos had been discovered in the stipple ceilings, as well as "a small amount" around the window frames, he said.

Asbestos is "common in many older buildings" and has been found in around 3800 different materials in New Zealand buildings.

More than 170 New Zealanders die each year from diseases related to past asbestos exposure.

A Blenheim construction company was fined earlier this year after exposing workers to asbestos risk at a demolition site.

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