Strange twist in land dispute

NICHOLAS BOYACK
Last updated 10:20 23/01/2013
Ward land dispute
HUTT NEWS
What is going on: Lex Ward has been battling a developer for nine years over a 145 square metre section in front of their house.

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One of the most bizarre land disputes the city has seen in many years has taken another strange twist.

A toilet, Mitre 10 construction sign and a pile of wood has appeared on a 145-square metre residential section in Pinny Ave.

The dispute goes back nine years, and Lex and Noleen Ward believe the council effectively sold their front lawn to a developer.

Marquis Development purchased the former piece of road reserve for $5,000.

The Wards are adamant the council never offered it to them and that they only found about it via an article in the Hutt News.

Marquis Development director John Havier and the city council both say the Wards were offered the land and put in a bid for $2000.

In the subsequent years, the Wards have put in a number offers, going as high as $46,500.

The minimum section size allowed for in the District Plan is 400 square metres. A proposal to build on the section has been lodged with council but it has never been clear what Mr Havier intends to do with the site.

Last week, Mr Ward told the Hutt News he has given up trying to work out what Mr Havier is up to.

They are selling a piece of their back yard and are getting ready to sell and shift to Raumati.

The appearance of the toilet has caused some bemusement but a complaint to the council did not get any action.

He cannot understand how material can be left for storage on a residential property.

The wood is piled up to look like a bonfire with an orange cone in it to represent a flame.

Thy have been told by their real estate agent that the dispute has devalued their property.

Mr Ward says there is nothing he can do about that and he is prepared to move on.

He doubts the council will ever allow Mr Havier to build on such a small site because of the precedent it would set.

Mr Havier has previously told the Hutt News that the land has always been on the market and he will sell for the right price.

Last week, he said the Hutt News should have better things to write about and he was not prepared to comment.

627511912 What is going on: Lex Ward has been battling a developer for nine years over a 145 square metre section in front of their house. Recently a toilet (left/right 22-HUT-Wards1 627511913) and construction material appeared.

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