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Council 'floors' illegal building works

Council 'floors' illegal building works

Construction of an extra floor above industrial units in North Shore City are at a stand still after the council was granted an interim injunction to halt the illegal building works.

Donald Fairley, a joint owner of the units at 17 Bute Rd, Browns Bay, had not obtained the necessary building and resource consent to carry out the building work.

He then ignored warnings from compliance and monitoring staff at North Shore City Council to stop work in early September.

Mr Fairley refused to co-operate with both council staff and inspectors from the Department of Labour and continued the building work even after statutory notices were issued by both agencies.

"Although Mr Fairley has some engineering experience there were serious concerns regarding both site safety for his workers and whether the work would comply with building code requirements for fire safety," says North Shore City's compliance and monitoring team leader, David Frith.

"The ongoing safety of the units in the existing building was also in question with the additional weight of the new floor from its substantial steel framework.

"Resource consent was also needed as the illegal extra storey is within 30m of residential properties and is visible from those properties," says Mr Frith.

Judge Wilson QC granted the interim injunction, which required the owner to cease building works on site from September 15, until a building consent had been obtained and the work could be done lawfully.

The council has been given time to make submissions to recover costs of the action from Mr Fairley.

"Illegal building work is a serious concern to the council and the community," says David Frith.

"The person carrying out the illegal work, the contractor and the property owners, can all be prosecuted for either carrying out or allowing the illegal work to proceed.

"They also risk invalidating their insurance policies and breaching mortgage agreements," says Mr Frith.

Failing to comply with statutory notices can carry fines of up to $200,000 and an additional two year jail sentence under the Resource Management Act.

Under the Building Act 2004, an obstruction charge carrying a fine of $5000 can be brought for not co-operating with council staff.

ENDS

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