Blocks of broken concrete and clods of sodden mud collapsed
on to a Dunedin driveway early yesterday, blocking vehicle
access to five houses.
The affected home owners in Asquith St, Caversham, want the
Dunedin City Council to deal with the issue, but the council
says the wall was built by the developer of their subdivision
in the 1950s, and is entirely on private property.
Residents had no vehicle access to their homes after the
concrete retaining wall, which is about 60 years old,
Resident Ken Stevens said he was woken by a ''thump'' about
''I got up - I thought `something's wrong','' he said.
Mr Stevens looked outside and discovered the retaining wall -
and plenty of soil from the grass verge it held back - in the
private driveway that services the Asquith St homes.
He said there had been a crack in the wall for about 14
years, and residents had been in discussion with the council
for the past five years or so.
Property owner Mark Ford was also at the site of the slip
yesterday morning. He said each property extended across the
driveway to the wall.
He, and other residents at the site yesterday were strongly
of the view the council had a responsibility - particularly
because the soil that had dropped on to the driveway was
But council transportation policy engineer Jon Visser said
yesterday the driveway was ''completely'' on private
The council had sent residents a letter last year urging them
to maintain the wall.
The property developer had cut into the hillside of the
council's road reserve, and the property owners had a
responsibility to maintain the wall.
The council was ''very much the victim'' in the situation.
Mr Visser said while building consent for the wall would be
required, the council would be willing to provide approval.
Yesterday afternoon the residents had called in a contractor
to remove the rubble from the driveway.
But Mr Stevens said once that was complete, the residents
would be contacting the council again to argue their case.