Queenstown council says fence blocking garage not its fault

Shotover Country residents Beck Cole and Deo Bohn were initially ''disappointed'' by the fence.
Rhys Chamberlain

Shotover Country residents Beck Cole and Deo Bohn were initially ''disappointed'' by the fence.

A bizarre fence that blocks access to a Queenstown home's garage has the correct consent and was signed off by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Questions arose about the legality of having a garage that could not be accessed and who was at fault after tenants of the Shotover Country home, Deo Bohn and Beck Cole, expressed concern about their lease. It originally stated they would have use of a double garage.

As a result, the landlord of the Risinghurst Tce property lowered the rent and had plans to turn it into a fifth bedroom for the Maya Music owners.

The fence blocks access to a garage in Shotover Country.
Rhys Chamberlain

The fence blocks access to a garage in Shotover Country.

Originally the garage door was supposed to be on the end of the garage but a light post prevented a driveway being put there so the owner changed the access point. He ran into trouble when he realised how steep the new driveway would be.

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Council planning practice manager Blair Devlin did not think they "ever reviewed the gradient" of the proposed new driveway when the plans were changed, but said that was common practice and it was not the council's fault.

Permission wasn't needed to put up a fence like this one, the council said.
Rhys Chamberlain

Permission wasn't needed to put up a fence like this one, the council said.

The council and the building code were not "necessarily concerned" with the gradient of a driveway when signing off plans, Devlin said.

"The planning team check any consent when it comes in. I think it would be very difficult for the person that does that to check the gradient ... [but] when you're building, you've got to make sure people can drive onto it. When they [the owner and builder] made that decision, maybe they didn't think too much about the gradient."

Permission was not needed to put up a fence provided it met criteria including being less than two metres high so there was no issue with it blocking the garage door, Devlin said.

"He's got himself into a funny spot there with the gradient. I can't put my finger exactly on it. It's probably an issue on the design at the subdivision stage."

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Subdivision developer spokeswoman Sharyn Stalker thought the owner and landlord would correct any design issues. She did not comment further.

On Tuesday the landlord, who preferred not to be named, said he had the appropriate consent and did not want to put blame on anyone. 

He informed Cole and Bohn before moving in that the garage would be turned into a fifth bedroom. "They agreed," he said.

"As long as they are happy and comfortable, that's the main thing."

He was now waiting for the builder to start the conversion.

Bohn did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

 - Stuff

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