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Waitakere Council to seek enforcement orders

Tuesday 11 October 2005

Waitakere Council to seek enforcement orders to stabilise Swanson landslip site and meet clean-up costs

The Waitakere City Council's Planning and Regulatory Committee today heard that the Council plans to take urgent legal enforcement action over a landslip on the property of Mr Ross Britten, in Swanson, in July.

The slip blocked the Swanson Stream and had to be cleared by the Council.

"The causes of the landslip are a separate issue. What we are dealing with is the fact that a problem has occurred on Mr Britten's property and irrespective of the cause, he is liable to put it right," says the committee chair, Councillor Vanessa Neeson.

Accordingly, the Council will be applying to the Environment Court to recover the costs incurred by the Council clearing up after the slip that has occurred.

"This is not a prosecution; it is an enforcement order. This action rests solely on the fact that the bank on Mr Britten's property carried away and that is his responsibility. Even if it had been the best engineered bank ever built, Mr Britten would still be required to fix the problem," Councillor Neeson says.

"Therefore, we are asking for Mr Britten to pay costs for which he is liable. We will also be asking for enforcement orders requiring Mr Britten to undertake remedial works to stabilise the site. This will apply to a larger area than the actual slip because the whole area is considered unstable," Councillor Neeson says.

The Council commissioned a geotechnical report into the causes of the landslip and that has now been provided to Mr Britten.

"The report discusses potential causes but that is a separate discussion. What we are dealing with at this time is the fact that a slip occurred and the bank has become unstable, and that has to be remedied," says Councillor Neeson.


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