Council says 'work together'

JOE DAWSON
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2014

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Neighbours at war over a longstanding drainage issue have been told to sort their problems out themselves.

But Hillsborough man Phil Crumpe believes responsibility for fixing the problem lies with the Auckland Council and he wants action.

Mr Crumpe says more than a decade ago the former Auckland City Council gave approval for his neighbours to connect their stormwater drain to what he says was a non-existent public line.

He says he signed a consent form for this to go ahead before learning the pipe in question was not in the position indicated on the plans.

He says he is happy for the neighbours to go through his property to connect to the actual pipe but wants $5000 in reparation from them.

He wants the council to step in and enforce a notice to fix the stormwater situation which they issued in 2006.

He believes that because the original plans were wrong, the document he signed is null and void.

The neighbours declined to be interviewed but say they are unsure why Mr Crumpe won't let them have access when he signed a consent document allowing them to connect to the public drain.

The council says it cannot intervene because the two parties are in a dispute over the plans.

"Mr Crumpe contacted Auckland Council as stormwater flows into his property from his neighbour's site," a council spokesman says.

"There is a drainage easement which allows Mr Crumpe's neighbour to have access to his site to connect to the public stormwater line for which Mr Crumpe has given written approval.

"As the easement document is a legal document, this is now a civil issue between the neighbours and the council cannot enforce any action.

"Auckland Council encourages neighbours to work together to resolve stormwater issues."

The spokesman says it is not common to ask for compensation for stormwater access through a property to the public system.

"The council has the mechanism under the Local Government Act to formally require the access."

Mr Crumpe rejects the council's position.

"The council started it by signing off a set of building consents that were blatantly wrong," he says.

"They are ground zero of the problem but they say it's nothing to do with them."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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