The Bella Vista Homes subdivision in Tauranga has been a local issue there for a few months, but has now made the national news following the announcement by the Tauranga City Council that all 21 properties in the former development at The Lakes have been deemed dangerous and cannot be occupied.

According to this article on the stuff website:

Building compliance expert Rose McLaughlan has catalogued issues across all of the properties and concluded that none of the buildings were code compliant. That was despite some having had Code Compliance Certificates issued.

McLaughlan said many of the defects may not be easily fixed, due to the nature of the soil and problems associated with uncontrolled fill and sub-surface erosion.

McLaughlan said remediating the land and repairing some foundations and slabs, may be virtually impossible.

The lesson for councils is that they need to careful about what they approve as anything that is subsequently found to have faults makes them liable.  The bill for Tauranga City Council is going to be big.

The other lesson is for those looking at buying in new developments: check out the developers. They will invariably be limited liability companies, so check out the directors and shareholders. The construction industry is plagued with collapses, from the biggest (such as Fletchers’ woes) to the smallest.

If the terrain they are building on requires a lot more work than originally expected, can they cover the extra cost?  You can’t help wondering about some of the ones you see happening now in Kapiti.