Lakes Boulevard residents evicted from their homes by Tauranga City Council remain confused about when they will be able to return.
Initially they were removed at short notice because of a potential danger presented by Cyclone Hola.
When the floods and high winds didn’t eventuate, the residents were still prevented from returning.
Residents says they are also being prevented by the Tauranga City Council from repairing a retaining wall as ordered.
The council presented home owners with a legal Notice to Fix three days before Christmas, which expires in June.
The owners have spent considerable time and energy negotiating the paperwork and retaining the required experts, reports and plans to build the retaining wall that is at issue.
One resident, who doesn’t want their name used, says the council is saying two things.
They says they’re being told they have no consent for retaining, when property owners do have consent and three of the houses are fully compliant.
Council staff also said the site levels have changed, that is also incorrect because they had them surveyed for the retaining job, says the owner.
“It’s very convenient for the council to point the finger at Bella Vista because they are out of the picture, but there are a lot of questions about what the city council has and hasn’t done,” says the owner.
All the problems will go away on the site when the retaining and drainage is complete, yet the council is not allowing the owners to put those basic safety features in place, says the owner.
Tauranga City Council’s chief executive’s group general manager Kirsty Downey says the council acted on expert advice that emergency works were needed on three of the buildings at the former Bella Vista development.
She says they also had advice from a geotechnical engineer that an unretained slope was at risk of failure in heavy rainfall, which potentially puts all properties at risk.
Council acted responsibly in issuing a warrant under s129 to evacuate the dwellings, as the safety of residents is our paramount concern, says Kirsty.
“The steps required under the s129 warrant are ongoing, including further engineering assessments. Engineers have been onsite again this week, and we hope to have detailed information from them in the coming days. Once we have that we will work with owners and residents on the next steps.”