Abandoned units cleared by council

By Cherie Taylor

More than 36 tonnes of rubbish, mainly disposable nappies, have been cleared from an abandoned section in Fordlands.

Concerned youths from the area contacted the Rotorua District Council to clear up the derelict property at 17 and 17a Bellingham Cres after the properties had become a dumping ground over the years.

The youths say it's great they have been listened to, with the council clearing the sections which have been vacant for many years, and become overgrown with grass, trees, weeds and mountains of rubbish.

Neighbours have been complaining for years about rats and people sleeping inside. The units caught fire in suspicious circumstances in 2011.

The council says the double storey units have been deemed hazardous.

Fordlands youth co-ordinator Daisy Ryfle-Raiwhara said the youths wrote to the council to see what could be done. They were rapt the sections had been cleaned up.

Ivary Dixon, 16, said people always commented negatively about the condition of the derelict units. "It was so unsightly ... always such a mess."

Freedom Werahiko, 17, said rats plagued the section, a health hazard with a kindergarten nearby. "It's so much nicer now. It looks much better for our community."

A neighbour, who didn't want to be identified, said he was happy when he saw a council crew clearing away rubbish and debris from the site.

The youths hope the council will look at doing the same with another house on the street.

Council regulatory services manager Neven Hill said he would be sending someone to check the second abandoned property.

Mr Hill said the owner of the first property refused to do anything about it. The property has been linked to landlord Stephen Bhana but he could not be contacted by the Rotorua Daily Post to confirm whether he was the legal owner.

Council records available to the public state the owner cannot be identified.

Mr Hill said more than 36 tonnes of rubbish, mainly disposable nappies, were cleared away from one half of the section.

The cost has been registered against the property, which will require the owner to pay the bill before it can be sold.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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