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Council evicts property owners

Tauranga City Council is taking over a subdivison at The Lakes. Photo: Supplied.

UPDATED: 5.15pm:Tauranga City Council is in the process of evicting property owners from 13 houses at The Lakes because it claims they are endangered by Cyclone Hola, expected to arrive late Monday.

In total there are 21 properties involved partially built by liquidated developer Bella Vista Homes.

Between twenty and thirty people are being removed from their homes at The Lakes tonight by 8pm, says city council ceo Garry Poole at a press conference this afternoon.

The 21 homes built by Bella Vista Homes in Lakes Boulevard and Anita Way are in different stages of completion with 13 of them being occupied.

The council is acting because of advice from experts and in view of Cyclone Hola’s expected arrival on Monday afternoon.

“Our focus is on helping home owners this unique situation which arose on November 30 with the liquidation of Bella Vista homes,” says Garry.

The accommodation costs are being met by the council, which will include the costs of boarding any animals, says Garry.

“We do not believe those costs will be significant.”

The houses are in various stages of completion. The warrant includes work on three of the dwellings to prevent lifting in high winds that are expected on Monday.

People will remain in council supplied accommodation until after the cyclone has passed and the buildings and land has been inspected by geotechnical and engineering staff.

At issue is a cut on a rear of a slope near the site made in 2016, that remains unretained.

“The retaining walls weren’t signed off,” says Garry. “Again it comes back to the circumstances presented. Under the Building Act the council cannot dictate the sequencing of work.

“The fact that the retaining walls were not there was raised with the owners of Bella Vista many, many times. They gave us assurances that retaining walls would be put in place. Their plan was to put the retaining walls in after the construction. The liquation intervened.

"Time over took them in the form of the liquidation. That is why I call this a unique circumstance."

This morning Council received advice from a geotechnical specialist that the properties need to be vacated from today, says Garry.

Council has attempted to contact all owners of these properties and is organising temporary accommodation for them.

Garry Poole today issued a warrant under section 129 of the Building Act to give the council the ability to carry out work on the properties.

“As Council’s assessment of the properties is ongoing, we cannot go into further details but there are a number of issues that we are looking at,” says Garry.

Following the liquidation of that company on 30 November 2017, Council launched a comprehensive assessment of all the homes, which included inspections by building and engineering specialists.

The homes are in varying stages of completion, and the assessment was to establish what needs to be done to ensure all of the homes in the subdivision are compliant with the building code.

“This is a unique situation due to the insolvency and liquidation of Bella Vista Homes prior to the completion of the development and the decision by some home owners to occupy their homes,” says Garry.

“Council acknowledges that homeowners have faced an upsetting and challenging time and is committed to supporting owners at this time.”

The expert assessments on the properties are expected to be completed over the coming weeks.

A dedicated project team has been established to work on this matter.

A press conference has been called for 4pm Friday.

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19 Comments
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Time passes by...

Posted on 21-03-2018 15:46 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Still Council has not provided any genuine reason for this fiasco, the informaiton available appears in absolutel conflict with TCC’s actions to date. Add to that of course that the prime reason for the over reaction and dramas was Cyclone Halo, a non-event! So why is this not sorted out already, people back in their code of compliant homes? God help the TCC ratepayer... as no one else wants to!

TCC ratepayers need and its overdue

Posted on 13-03-2018 23:21 | By MISS ADVENTURE

A new Council and CEO then a clean out of all the deadwood and riff-raff within.

TCC confused?

Posted on 13-03-2018 01:27 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Maybe the reports all got mixed up at TCC? Perhaps the Hola and Earthquake files got all mixed up. Weather predictions and earthquakes are VERY much equally unpredictable. Nevermind it was all a compelte farce anyway.

TCC Creations

Posted on 12-03-2018 11:59 | By MISS ADVENTURE

it maybe that TCC raised the issue of the retaining wall "many times" but that was all afterwards from teh building consents being issued. The reality is that TCC have come up with this wonderous idea of a retaining wall ages afterwards and for some reason expect teh builder to pay for it. Until the builder agrees TCc was holding out on the consents for some houses. This looks to be a dodgy stance by TCC, demanding something be done that wasnt needed at the start, unlreated and does not exist in truth of it is made into a drama of this magnitude and scale. Looks like TCC is out of hand again.

Read the article properly

Posted on 11-03-2018 15:26 | By clingon

It seems that people havn’t read thoroughly- from what i understand the properties were under various stages of construction and weren’t signed off because the retaining walls were not completed. The owners of some of the houses decided to occupy in spite of not being signed off and if i was renting waiting for my house to be completed after paying hundreds of thousands of dollars and the building company going broke i would move in too. I feel for those people...

Retaining Wall

Posted on 11-03-2018 13:08 | By MISS ADVENTURE

If there is indeed something important and real then why hasn’t Council built it on its land already? Why is this now creating a drama after the event and it just happens to be related to Bella Vista Homes.

More likely

Posted on 11-03-2018 13:05 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That Council is trying to shore up a defence for past items that they have been caught out on and undone on. Sadly the residents have got caught up in this little game of chardes and public announcements - Bolliwood fashion. The substance isnt there and never was.

People evicted?

Posted on 10-03-2018 14:51 | By MISS ADVENTURE

This amazing, I understand that teh bank has been there for ages... on Council land?

Completed houses?

Posted on 10-03-2018 13:32 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Interesting that they are occupied and "completed" so that means fully consented from start to finish. With all this "risk" why so long to react after there have been a dozen storms in the last year or so? None of this seems to add up?

“The retaining walls weren't signed off,” says Garry

Posted on 10-03-2018 13:10 | By MISS ADVENTURE

The reason for that is that they werent required so nothing to sign off.

Surfies

Posted on 10-03-2018 08:37 | By hapukafin

TCC you got land lubbers safe but what are you doing to keep surfies out of the water. Surf.Rescuers lives are in more danger rescuing surfies as they are already in a danerous situation.

Houses

Posted on 10-03-2018 08:31 | By surfsup

How can a building development get to the stage that houses are built before retaining walls are put in place. Surely this must be a council cock up, isn’t that why we have building inspectors to ensure the correct procedures have been followed.

Question

Posted on 09-03-2018 22:00 | By The Sage

So how come, all these houses, recently completed, were issued codes of compliance? Someone isnt doing their job properly. Where is the accountability? About time the Council drained the swamp.

WTF

Posted on 09-03-2018 21:24 | By maildrop

How on earth has TCC allowed houses to be built and signed off, that have to evacuated because of a little summer storm?! Absolutely disgraceful. No point blaming a dodgy builder TCC - YOU allowed people to enter. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure works are done before sign off of a completed home. YOU are there to protect people from builders who fail to deliver. You should all resign and clear off. Disgusting.

Hard to believe

Posted on 09-03-2018 20:54 | By Told you

How could the Council issue building permits for these houses without the nessary retaining walls been built, needs explanation, sounds to me someone slipped up somewhere.

Yes and No

Posted on 09-03-2018 19:33 | By Maree B

Very sad for the owners being evicted from their homes. Happy for a bit of my rates to help them. Furious that Bella Vista can start a new building company without fixing up this mess. Some laws need fixing.

Shameful

Posted on 09-03-2018 17:28 | By overit

Poor people.

really ?

Posted on 09-03-2018 16:37 | By Darth Vader NZ

part of the reason, evacuation because of a predicted storm ? sorry not buying it especially if this council is involved the council issued building permits and construction was started now the problem is a slope not retained ?

The whole situation

Posted on 09-03-2018 16:21 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Is a joke, if there is such an issue then why did TCC allow the Building Consents to be issued, why did TCC allow the subdivision to occur to lots to subdivide without remedy. Why now is it an issue?