Rules change a worry for vehicle collectors

Manawatu motoring enthusiasts are concerned about the impact that new restrictions on the number of derelict vehicles allowed on private properties will have on collectors.

A change to the Manawatu District Council District Plan means residents now require a resource consent if they have more than one derelict vehicle on their property that can be viewed from a neighbouring property or a public place.

Under the District Plan, a derelict vehicle is defined as any car or vehicle which is not registered and/or not warranted, and is unable to be driven under its own power. Vehicles with their registrations on hold would also fall under the definition.

"If council determined an excessive number of vehicles were resulting in adverse effects on the environment or nuisance, then council would approach the landowner in question to discuss the situation and work through a solution," district council senior policy planner Deborah Kissick said. "This could result in a resource consent being required."

Brent Pike, a member of the New Zealand Military Vehicle Collectors, said he was surprised to hear about the ruling.

"Most of our members have a number of vehicles, and often keep a couple on hand to use for spares. I think those affected by this would be quite annoyed." Some members stored their vehicles in sheds, while others also had some outside.

NZ Federation of Motoring Clubs national secretary Roy Hughes, in an article for his organisation, said classic car collectors and other vehicle enthusiasts could not all keep their vehicles in garages or sheds.

The new planning regulations had the potential to seriously curb collectors' activities and cause a significant loss of their personal amenities, he said. Previous restrictions applied only to village and residential zones, but the new plan now also included industrial, rural, business and recreational zones.

"The plan change ensures consistency and aligns with the objectives of each zone," Kissick said. "Generally the restrictions on derelict vehicles are to ensure an appropriate level of amenity is achieved in each zone."

Caravans and motorhomes are also deemed "vehicles" in the District Plan - unless they are used as accommodation.

If someone is living in one for longer than six months during a 12-month period, then the vehicle is classed as a building and must meet the District Plan requirements as a building.

A caravan or motorhome could either be deemed a family flat or a temporary building, depending on whether there was already a building on the site.

Manawatu Standard