Ashburton: Illegal construction continues at truck yard

2010-11-17 00:00

ASHBURTON residents whose properties are in the immediate vicinity of the controversial truck yard visible from the N3 freeway are at their wits’ end.

Construction is continuing on the property, despite Msunduzi Municipality’s instruction to the owner to not only stop further construction, but also to dismantle the existing structures, which were erected without permission.

The ruling was passed at a sitting of the executive committee five months ago where it was stated that legal action would be taken.

When The Witness went by the property on Monday afternoon, the site was in a state of disrepair.

The premises resembled a scrapyard, with mangled and corroded truck parts littering the site. Three men were spotted building a brick wall alongside the steel structures; others were seen digging holes in another part of the property.

A few neighbouring residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they have been battling to get this matter sorted out.

One said he had put his property up for sale, but was forced to take it off the market because he was not offered a decent price

“Nearby houses have been devalued because prospective buyers are turned off by this filthy property,” the resident complained.

The Witness has reported extensively on the plight of Ashburton residents who have sent numerous petitions to the municipality to get it to act on the matter on the grounds that the construction is taking place in a residential area without proper permission.

Richard Lister, the attorney acting on behalf of the municipality, said that while there is no present court order against the owners of the site, the municipality has made extensive preparations to launch a high court application.

“Affidavits are being signed this week, and next week the application papers will be filed in the high court and served upon the respondents, requiring them, among others, to remove all offending structures from the site and restore it to its prior condition,” he said.

Lister said the property owners gave an interim undertaking through their attorneys a few months ago that there would be no further construction on the site.

“The municipality is aware of this further construction work and we have urgently referred this to those other attorneys for action,” he said.

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