Couple must clear away scores of old vehicles
A Marlborough couple have been given three months to clean up the cars, trucks, trailers, tractors, boats and "junk items" cluttering their property.
Vanessa Schonberger said the Marlborough District Council had "broken" her by making the order to clear about 40 vintage vehicles and parts from their Caseys Rd property, Belle Air, south of Seddon. "Yesterday I just wanted to push everything into a pile and set it on fire, I don't care if the whole property burnt, they've broken me," she said.
The order came last Thursday when an Environment Court hearing between the council and Mrs Schonberger and husband Cyril was adjourned for three months to allow for the property to be tidied up. If they did not clear the property, the pair could face a fine of up to $10,000, Mrs Schonberger said. During the past few months they had removed about 50 of the 100 vehicles, she said.
In its application for an enforcement order, the council said the Schonbergers had "been accumulating old and wrecked vehicles . . . and miscellaneous goods of all kinds", on the property.
It also said they had been undertaking "desultory" or erratic vehicle wrecking and vehicle repair activities on the land, which was not zoned accordingly.
The activities were not permitted by any relevant existing use rights or by any resource consents, the application said.
Mrs Schonberger said they had not been running any business on the property, including in the shed which had been used only for storage. It held three vehicles, including a left-hand drive Capri, which Mrs Schonberger said was the last of its kind in the country, and some household items which had to be removed from the house following a fire.
Some of the rare vehicles would be worth a lot once restored, she said. Clearing the yard in three months would prove difficult she said, as she was unable to work due to health problems and her husband worked six days a week.
They planned to apply for resource consent for another shed to store some of the vehicles in, and to clear the rest of the land.
The order required the Schonbergers to keep only 10 unregistered vehicles on the property. If they wanted to keep more, they had to apply for resource consent within one month of the order being issued.
They were also told to provide council with a written list of registered vehicles on the property within a month.