Complaint halts subdivision work

Michael Laws
Michael Laws
A section of work on the Prospector's Park subdivision in Cromwell has been put on hold following complaints from Michael Laws about vibrations from the work.

But the contractor doing the work says it has operated within the developer's consent and acted in "good faith" regarding the complaint.

Mr Laws lives in The Dunes subdivision, which backs on to the Prospector's Park subdivision, which is being developed on the site of the old Cromwell Top 10 Holiday Park.

Mr Laws contacted the Otago Daily Times to say vibrations from the work last month had been "headache-inducing".

Compacting equipment doing the work had been 10m from his back fence and caused vibrations and "crackling noises that approximate a small earthquake", he said.

He could not see how the effects of the work could "possibly be interpreted as less than minor" for any consent issued for the work.

"When that activity impedes or destroys the enjoyment of one's home, it is clearly not a consentable activity."

John Searle and Richard Wallis, of CHP Developments Ltd, have land use consent from the Central Otago District Council for bulk earthworks associated with the consented subdivision, on Alpha St.

A representative of CHP Developments could not be contacted.

Civil Construction Ltd is doing the earthworks at present.

A Civil Construction spokesman said the company stopped work on the site immediately and "in good faith" following Mr Laws' complaint last month.

The company had completed works to date "in accordance with the consent and within industry best practice" and was "awaiting further instruction" about the outcome of a meeting between Mr Laws and the development's engineer "as how to proceed in the future", the spokesman said.

Council planning manager David Campbell said the district council had received one complaint about the subdivision work, from Mr Laws.

The earthworks consent said the contractor "shall carry out the works in such a manner as to cause the least inconvenience to the principal and the public", and to comply with all statutory and local authority requirements regarding noise, Mr Campbell said.

However, there were no limits or conditions for vibrations, nor specific controls for them in the council's district plan, he said.

Civil Construction was not in breach of the consent, "other than some timing of works issues Michael [Laws] noticed, but didn't make us aware [of]".

A Facebook page for the Prospector's Park subdivision says stage two of the development is sold out and the sections are titled, and stage three is starting soon.

The subdivision will have 173 sections in total, ranging in size from 250sq m to 2055sq m.


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