RUB­BLE IN PAR­ADISE

BULL­DOZE IT: $1M BAR­WON HEADS RENO MUST GO

Geelong Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - RUSTY WOODGER

Court or­ders woman to tear down half of her hol­i­day home

A MIL­LION-DOL­LAR home ren­o­va­tion in Bar­won Heads will be bull­dozed for breach­ing plan­ning rules.

The Supreme Court has or­dered the hol­i­day home in War­ren­been Court be par­tially de­mol­ished af­ter its ren­o­va­tions ex­ceeded build­ing en­velopes on the land.

The ren­o­va­tions at the hol­i­day home in War­ren­been Court, Bar­won Heads.. A MIL­LION- DOL­LAR home ren­o­va­tion in Bar­won Heads will be bull­dozed af­ter it was found to breach plan- ning rules.

The Supreme Court has s or­dered the hol­i­day home on n War­ren­been Court — owned d by Mel­bourne’s Vicki Wright t — be par­tially de­mol­ished d af­ter its ren­o­va­tions ex­ceeded build­ing en­velopes on the land.

The de­ci­sion means rear pavil­ions at the home — in­clud­ing an in­door swim­ming pool, master bed­room and bal­cony — will be de­stroyed.

The two-year le­gal case was brought for­ward by neigh­bour Warwick Man­der­son, who ar­gued the breaches had sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced the value of his hol­i­day home next door.

The ren­o­va­tions on Mrs Wright’s home were car­ried out be­tween 2015 and 2016.

Jus­tice John Dixon handed down his de­ci­sion on Thurs­day, or­der­ing the rear pavil­ions be de­mol­ished within 90 days.

How­ever, no or­der was made on the restora­tion of en­dan­gered Moonah trees, which had been de­stroyed to make way for the ren­o­va­tion.

In de­liv­er­ing his rul­ing, Jus­tice Dixon lam­basted Mrs Wright for her con­duct while car­ry­ing out the works.

“I am per­suaded that the de­fen­dant did not act openly and in good faith,” he said.

“There was ev­i­dence of the de­fen­dant’s high­handed dis­re­gard of the plain­tiff’s rights when the de­fen­dant and her agents re­fused to make de­tails of the pro­posed works avail­able to the plain­tiff be­fore such works sub­stan­tively com­menced.”

Jus­tice Dixon said Mrs Wright also “pre­tended con­fu­sion” when the breach was ex­plained to her.

“On the other hand, the plain­tiff’s solic­i­tor made clear de­mands — which the de­fen­dant re­jected for a month — that the works im­me­di­ately cease, dur­ing which time sig­nif­i­cant work to­wards com­ple­tion of the pavil­ions was car­ried out,” he said.

“I am also sat­is­fied that the works con­tin­ued af­ter the de­fen­dant rep­re­sented to the plain­tiff that she had di­rected that all work would cease.”

In the lead-up to the case, Mr Man­der­son ac­cused the City of Greater Gee­long of sit­ting on its hands as the re­spon­si­ble au­thor­ity at a time Mrs Wright was knock­ing down en­dan­gered species and “build­ing a mon­ster”.

In de­fence, Mrs Wright had ar­gued the coun­cil ad­vised no plan­ning per­mit was re­quired when it was con­tacted in June 2014.

Mr Man­der­son said he was pleased to have “jus­tice” but lamented Jus­tice Dixon’s de­ci­sion not to or­der any resto- ra­tion of the Moonah trees.

He said an ex­pert ar­borist had es­ti­mated up to 47 trees had been de­stroyed.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed but not sur­prised that the court could give no recog­ni­tion to the lost trees,” Mr Man­der­son said.

“(But) I’m pleased that the ESO (en­vi­ron­men­tal sig­nif­i­cance over­lay) that is now in place puts CoGG and the plan­ning process as the first line of ac­tion. It is ap­palling that a pri­vate cit­i­zen had to take this on alone through the Supreme Court.”

Jus­tice Dixon has pro­posed Mrs Wright pay $250,000 in dam­ages to Mr Man­der­son. A costs hear­ing will take place on Wed­nes­day.

“I am per­suaded that the de­fen­dant did not act openly and in good faith.” JUS­TICE JOHN DIXON

Pic­tures: ALI­SON WYND, SUPREME COURT OF VIC­TO­RIA.

KNOCK IT DOWN: DOWN Neigh­bour N i hb Warwick W i kM Man­der­son d pic­tured it d at t his hi fence f line li in i 2016. 2016 I In­set t left: l ft Build­ings out­side the red line (build­ing en­ve­lope) must be de­mol­ished fol­low­ing a rul­ing in the Supreme Court.

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