Trouble with the neighbours. NR 15

British Language CentreZaktualizowano 
Here are a couple of stories that have been around for some time.

The question is: are they true? The first one takes place in a crowded city with a group of architects planning a multi-storey office block. The second is in another city while the authorities build their high-security government buildings. One group are having problems fitting everything into the available space while the other have a little more space than they need.

The architects were proud of their new commercial office building. It had all the latest equipment inside and it looked attractive outside. The walls were made of an expensive type of yellow stone which came from another country, so there was nothing like it in the city.

The government liked their new offices as well. They were in several large buildings on a much larger plot of land. Between the different departments there was plenty of space to walk from building to building. In fact there was so much space that the builders decided to sell the remaining piece in the middle, which they did not need.

The office building, on the other hand, had used up too much space. Next to it was an empty site where someone else wanted to build another office. The day after the building opened, they went to the architects and told them that they had put about two centimetres of it on their land. They measured it and discovered it was true. What could they do? Well the simple solution was to say sorry and buy the land they had accidentally built on. But life is not always so simple.

The government had a problem as well. There was now a residential block of flats in the middle of their high-security government offices. They did not want people taking their dogs for a walk, having parties or getting drunk in the heart of government. So they offered to buy the flats themselves.

This is where the problems were. The land owner next to the office would not sell but only rent the land. The price was far too much for the office staff so they refused. The owner of the flats would sell but it was too much money for the government. In the end the government moved out and built new departments somewhere else in the city. The problem with the office was solved differently. They cut a few centimetres off the building. It was extremely expensive to sand the stone down (all down one side) but it was cheaper than paying the extra rent for decades.

Epilogue:
The new commercial office building was put so close to the original one that it touched it. Then the original owners showed that they had cut off more than two centimetres. The new building was now sitting on their land so they charged them rent, and an enormous amount.

Glossary:
remaining pozostały
a solution rozwiązanie
residential mieszkalny
to rent wynająć
to sand down oszlifować

1.Why did they have to make the office building smaller?
2.Why did they build a block of flats on the government site?
3.What did the owners of the office offer to do?
4.Why couldn’t they?
5.What did the government offer to do?
6.Why couldn’t they?
7.What happened to the office building?
8.What happened to the government buildings?

Key:

1.Because it was sitting on someone else’s land.
2.Because they had more land than they needed.
3.To buy part of the land next to it.
4.Because the owners would only rent, not sell.
5.To buy the block of flats.
6.Because they were too expensive.
7.It was made smaller.
8.They were left empty.

These are different types of buildings. Match them to their definitions.

1.a shed
2.a warehouse
3.a greenhouse
4.a hangar
5.an archive

a) A place for garden equipment.
b) A place to grow plants.
c) A place to keep old documents.
d) A place to keep an aeroplane.
e) A place to keep goods between the factory and the shops.

Key
1a 2e 3b 4d 5c

polecane: Pierwszy Polak połknął elektroniczną pigułkę

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