Busi­ness told to quit

Cou­ple say they felt bul­lied by coun­cil

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

An Alexan­dra cou­ple say they have been left feel­ing bul­lied and un­sup­ported by the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil af­ter be­ing re­quired to down­size their busi­ness be­cause of noise com­plaints. The Mir­ror was ap­proached by a con­cerned friend of Macs Macro­carpa Out­door Fur­ni­ture own­ers Mal­colm and Jackie Bruce who be­lieved the pair were be­ing un­fairly treated by the coun­cil. The pair moved to Alexan­dra about two years ago and started run­ning the busi­ness from a Bound­ary Rd prop­erty about 18 months ago. Since then the busi­nesses had ‘‘gone berserk’’ and the pair had been rushed off their feet fill­ing or­ders. It was de­cided be­fore Christ­mas to ex­pand the busi­ness onto a prop­erty on El­lis St, rented from Delta Util­ity Ser­vices. Mr Bruce said he had his own con­cerns about noisy equip­ment, in­clud­ing a chain­saw slab­bing mill, and tried to use it as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. About two months ago he was asked by Delta not to use the ma­chines be­cause they had been get­ting com­plaints from the coun­cil about the noise. The busi­ness ceased us­ing them straight away and be­gan the process of look­ing for a more suit­able prop­erty, de­spite the

rented land be­ing in­dus­trial area. While on the hunt for a new spot Mr Bruce said he re­ceived a call from coun­cil plan­ning team leader Ann Rodgers and said he was told to shut down op­er­a­tions at the El­lis St site im­me­di­ately. Mr Bruce said he was ‘‘com­mit­ted to fit­ting in with the com­mu­nity’’ and had tried to work with the coun­cil about sort­ing out a so­lu­tion but had been ‘‘cut out of the loop’’ be­cause they were not the landown­ers. ‘‘Coun­cil haven’t been clear with us. They haven’t given us any­thing in writ­ing. We’ve

in an been rung up, bul­lied and told we had to shut down,’’ he said. Mrs Bruce said ‘‘there is no sup­port what­so­ever for a new busi­ness in town to grow. The way we feel at the mo­ment is we are not wel­come by the coun­cil. ‘‘You can see why so many busi­nesses re­lo­cate to Cromwell.’’ Two con­trac­tors hired by the busi­ness had to be let go. ‘‘We’ve ef­fec­tively had to down­size the busi­ness un­til we get it sorted out,’’ Mr Bruce said. No read­ings of the noise lev­els have been taken. Ms Rodgers said that when she rang Mr Bruce to speak with him he hung up on her

Coun­cil haven’t been clear with us. They haven’t given us any­thing in writ­ing. We’ve been rung up, bul­lied and told we had to shut

down.

and she was forced to speak di­rectly with Delta be­cause she had no other way of con­tact­ing Mr Bruce. Let­ters the coun­cil wrote to Mr Bruce were ‘‘re­turned to sender’’ and the only co­op­er­a­tion had been from Delta, she said. How­ever, the Bruces said they did not be­lieve any mail had been sent be­cause, de­spite there be­ing no mail­box at the Bound­ary Rd premises, they al­ways re­ceived their mail from the mail man. They also felt the coun­cil ‘‘pestered’’ Delta’s Dunedin head­quar­ters about the is­sue. Ms Rodgers said the work was ex­tremely noisy. ‘‘It’s right next to res­i­den­tial homes. When you’re next to a res­i­den­tial zone you have to be mind­ful of el­derly peo­ple or peo­ple with ba­bies.’’ Noise read­ings were not taken be­cause it did not get to the stage where they would be needed be­cause Delta had said they would sort it out, she said.

Photo: CHE BAKER 627982048

Look­ing: Macs Macro­carpa Out­door Fur­ni­ture own­ers Mal­colm and Jackie Bruce feel let down by the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil af­ter they have been forced to down­size their busi­ness be­cause of noise com­plaints.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.