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Kitchen pots in the potting shed earn fine

Kitchen pots in the potting shed earn fine
June 22, 2005

A home owner who used pre-fabricated garden sheds to provide kitchen facilities for illegal minor units she had added to her Forrest Hill property has been fined $6000.

North Shore City Council successfully prosecuted Quin Yu, also known as Lucy Yu, who breached both the Building Act 2004 and the Resource Management Act 1991 by turning a two-storey house into a main dwelling upstairs with two illegal minor units downstairs in the basement and garage.

Illegal plumbing works were providing water to the garden shed 'kitchens' and electricity was provided by trailing power leads coming from the main building.

"We're really pleased with the outcome of this case, because only a few months earlier, the same owner had been told to remove another illegal unit," says North Shore City Council compliance and monitoring team leader David Frith.

"Ms Yu had been clearly advised in writing of the requirement for consent and had chosen to ignore our advice. The units were not only illegal, the lack of fire rating between the dwelling units was a significant danger to the occupants," says Mr Frith.

Evidence presented at Auckland District Court showed that Ms Yu had evaded approximately $30,000 in development contributions, which are payable to council for most building works to help fund the future infrastructure needs of New Zealand's fourth largest city.

In sentencing Ms Yu the judge indicated that a fine of $15,000 would have been appropriate in this case if the owner had been able to pay.

Ms Yu has since sold the property at Forrest Hill and the illegal units and makeshift kitchens have been removed.


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