DCC response to house damage slammed

A Caversham man says his house is falling apart because of what he views as a failure by the Dunedin City Council to take decisive action after his neighbour's illegal excavation undermined the foundation of his family home.

The council says it feels sorry for the Proctor family and is doing everything in its power to help bring about a solution, namely requiring the neighbour, Rodney Peoples, to construct a retaining wall.

It has given him one year to do so, which a council spokesman described as a reasonable time.

However, homeowner Ronnie Proctor says one big rainfall or snowfall could render his Morrison St house uninhabitable and the issue should be fixed immediately.

His neighbour, Mr Peoples, has denied his excavation work is causing the ongoing cracking and subsidence at the Proctor family home.

He said the issues at the Proctor property were caused by poor drainage.

Mr Proctor said he first noticed some cracking and slumping in the house last year, especially around the main bedroom near where Mr Peoples had made a steep cutting in his front section.

A long crack runs down the Proctor home below the master bedroom window, suggesting the house is slumping towards Mr Peoples' excavation.

An investigation by Adams Geotechnical concluded recent damage to the home was "clearly caused" by the excavation next door.

A shipping container has been lowered into place to mitigate the risk of the rapid collapse of a corner of the Proctor home.

The engineer recommended a retaining wall should be constructed as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

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