Mark van Roosmalen ran a well-known tailor's business on Manchester St in Christchurch for more than 23 years before the February 22, 2011, earthquake destroyed the building.

But the tailor is now proving not so popular with his neighbours in suburban Fendalton.

van Roosmalen, 59, has been operating his business out of a rented house in Otara St for the past two years.

During that time he has received numerous complaints from people in the area including the Hamilton Ave and Otara St Residents' Association upset by commercial activity on the street.


But van Roosmalen said the group is just a bunch of busy bodies trying to get rid of him.

"I really don't know what's got up these people's noses," van Roosmalen said.

Now the residents' association has upped the ante and has made a bid to close his suburban business down by approaching the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community

Doug Archbold, chairman of the residents' association, made a deputation to the board and said the tailor's operations were illegal.

Said van Roosmalen: "That's how it started - they tried to say it was illegal, but of course it's not. Then they just kept coming back with more and more issues."

Special legislation was developed by Parliament to enable displaced businesses to temporarily relocate to the suburbs after the earthquakes.

Following the deputation, city council staff investigated and found the business was operating legally.

Archbold said the outcome was "pathetic."

Community board chairman David Cartwright said the board's "hands are tied" as regulatory compliance works as an independent body from the city council.

But he said the board is hearing the community's concern.

Archbold said it isn't so much the tailor itself that the residents are concerned about but the precedent it sets for other businesses.

"If you let the tailor in, what's next?" he said.

He said it's a wider city issue of businesses being pushed out of the central city and into the suburbs, but residents on Otara St feel they are being swamped by commercial activity.

"It could be a fruit shop, any shop. We don't like it in our street," Archbold said.

He compared it to the funeral home that Fendalton residents in Rochdale St are protesting.

The house is opposite Fendalton Village Shopping Centre, which includes a New World supermarket, optometrist and a bank.

van Roosmalen said it is these businesses bringing all the traffic to the neighbourhood not customers getting suit alterations.

"We have plenty of off-street parking and some days we go without any customers at all," he said.

He wants the whole situation put to bed so he can get on with business as usual.

"I've had other neighbours tell me how great it is having a tailor nearby," he said.