Backlash on relocatable houses

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN IN ALEXANDRA
Last updated 05:00 04/12/2013
Southland Times photo
Jo McKENZIE-McLEAN/Fairfax NZ

Residents have dubbed Missy Crescent ''Relocation Road'' after a large number have started popping up along a strip of land in the affluent subdivision.

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Relaxed covenants on a block of developed land in Pisa Moorings estate has created a swell of relocatable houses being ''dumped'' on a street residents have dubbed ''Relocation Road'' and ''Pissy Crescent''.

During the past two months residents have been horrified to see relocatable houses popping up on Orchard Bank, which was purchased and developed by Waenga Developments Ltd.

Resident Sharon McCulloch said when she bought her land with her husband in 2007, there were strict conditions, including no relocatable houses or second-hand cladding, and they had expectations there would be consistency with other properties.

Orchard Bank had sat like a ''wild jungle' for years, but in recent months Missy Crescent had gone ''ballistic''.

''It seems like houses are getting dumped on us. Three relocatables arrived recently and piles are going up for another relocatable.''

''The houses are not up to standard of the other houses that are being built. We saved up to get here and the relocatables just change the look of the place.''It seems like there is no control. Where is the minimum standard?''

''The council needs to look at what they agree to when different developers are involved in subdividing.''

''People say to me, 'what is happening in  Pissy Crescent?' [The reclocatables] are here - and there is nothing we can do. You just have to put up with it unfortunately.''

Resident Carryn Colton said Missy Crescent was becoming like ''Relocation Road''.

''I don't know how it got through council because you would expect when you buy in a subdivision there would be consistency in the rules - even between different zones and developers - especially with neighbouring zones.''

''It is just inconsistent with the rest of the Pisa Mooring development.There is a row of [relocatable houses], they are exposed and you can see there are more going up. It is going to be hideous.''

Cromwell Community Board member Gordon Stewart, who is a minor shareholder in the company and real estate agent, said putting a covenant on properties was the option of the developers or previous landowners and the Orchard Bank Group decided not to put restrictions on the 25 sections.

''The Orchard Bank group decided there was a place to accommodate relocatable homes and chose not to put a covenant banning them on their land.''

The relocatable homes offered a cheaper option for people ''trying to get started in the world'', he said.

Pisa Moorings was developed by at least six different groups and there were different rules in different patches, he said.

''[Orchard Bank] was always part of the residential zoning for Pisa Moorings. This was a strip of ground people chose not to put restrictions on...a relocatable home when they arrive can look a bit ghastly but after a while ... you cannot tell the difference.''

No other developer had put relaxed restrictions on land allowing relocatable homes, he said.

The council had not control over a developer's decision to allow relocatable homes on land, he said.

''There are sections in Cromwell that accept relocatable homes and there area a lot of areas that don't. Many modern ones don't.

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''There are council rules about establishing relocatable homes and people have six months to get homes up to scratch.''

Central Otago mayor Tony Lepper said the council ''always had problems with relocatables''.

The Central Otago District Council tried to enforce district plan change, which was publicly notified in 1998, to require relocated dwellings to obtain resource consent which would enable appropriate conditions to be applied to ensure the house was brought up to standard.

Heavy Haulage Limited successfully appealed the change.

''We tried to change but it got appealed by a firm that transports them - we wanted to have stricter rules but they [relocatables] were imposed on us by the Environment Court.

''They do look shabby for awhile, but in time the owners usually work on them. There are issues in Cromwell and issues everywhere about them.

''It is not what we wanted but what was given to us.''

- The Mirror

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