Christchurch City Council probes property overrun with 'donations'
The Christchurch City Council is investigating a complaint about a property totally engulfed by "donated" items.
Head of Regulatory Compliance Tracey Weston said the complaint, received in November, is over an obstruction to the footpath outside the Grove Rd, Addington, property.
A tenant approached outside the property, who gave his name as Pastor Philip, said the items inside and outside the site are donations from members of the public.
Stuff was made aware of the situation after being contacted by a member of the public.
Philip said donations were not normally kept on the berm, where he had a trailer-load parked on Wednesday.
"Normally it's just the three bins only on the street, this has just arrived on Monday morning from a location where we had the use of a commercial car park over the Christmas break.
"Now we've brought it here and we're sorting out scrap metal, firewood [and] a stove to pull apart.
"There's nothing out here except for our own car and trailer," he said.
Philip, who would not be photographed, said he rented the property with a group of other tenants.
He said their lease ran out at the end of December, but they had been given a grace period to reduce the amount of donations and find a new place relocate the rest.
"Sadly, so many people just donate stuff that is absolutely useless.
"So rather than us having to pay for dumping fees . . . we have volunteers who will pull it apart and then salvage whatever materials, whether it's screws, nails, firewood, recyclable fabrics, scrap metals out of televisions, washing machines and other appliances.
"Televisions will often give us copper, aluminium, brass then the circuit boards as well are also sellable," Philip said.
People dropped of furniture that nobody wanted.
"We've just loaded a trailer load of stuff that will be going to the dump fairly soon," Philip said.
Weston confirmed a complaint was received on November 16, 2016.
"The nature of the complaint was reported to council as an obstruction to the footpath outside the address," she said.
Council teams were investigating the matter under the Resource Management Act, which related to an activity undertaken on the site which may have an adverse effect on the environment.
"The Council is investigating and working with the property owner to gain compliance," Weston said.
The property owner could not be reached for comment.