DUAL LIV­ING DIS­AS­TER

Home­own­ers is­sued ‘please ex­plain’:

NewsMail - - FRONT PAGE - EMMA REID emma.reid@news-mail.com.au

A NUM­BER of prop­er­ties in a Bundy street are sub­ject to com­pli­ance let­ters af­ter the coun­cil’s win in a court case led them to in­ves­ti­gate other homes built by the same com­pany.

In May, Queens­land’s Plan­ning and En­vi­ron­ment Court ruled in favour of Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil af­ter the owner of prop­erty on Mandi Court in Kalkie was found to be op­er­at­ing as a dual oc­cu­pancy with­out the ap­pro­pri­ate ap­provals.

The home was built two years ago by Homes R Us, which has since gone into ad­min­is­tra­tion, and was cer­ti­fied by a pri­vate cer­ti­fier as a sim­ple dwelling with an at­tached se­condary dwelling.

THERE are com­pli­ance con­cerns for a clus­ter of homes in the Kalkie area af­ter le­gal ac­tion against one owner po­ten­tially ex­posed a num­ber of prop­er­ties built by a com­pany that has now gone into ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The is­sue was high­lighted at Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil’s brief­ing meet­ing on Wed­nes­day.

The widespread com­pli­ance con­cerns came af­ter Kather­ine Lalis lost a court bat­tle against the coun­cil in May when she was found to be op­er­at­ing a dual oc­cu­pancy at prop­er­tyon Mandi Court in Kalkie with­out the re­quired per­mit.

The home was built two years ago and was cer­ti­fied by GMA Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Group as a sim­ple dwelling with an at­tached se­condary dwelling.

In May, the Plan­ning and En­vi­ron­ment Court dis­missed Ms Lalis’s ap­peal against the coun­cil’s en­force­ment no­tice re­gard­ing 5 Mandi Court.

Coun­cil de­vel­op­ment group man­ager Michael Ellery told the brief­ing meet­ing on Wed­nes­day that Mandi Court had been sub­ject to “over de­vel­op­ment by the builder at the cen­tre of our com­pli­ance ac­tion”.

Ms Lalis’s case stated her home was built by Homes R Us in Novem­ber 2016 and dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion she said the com­pany ob­tained build­ing ap­proval for her.

The court doc­u­ments re­vealed an­other res­i­dent in March last year had ex­pressed con­cerns about se­condary dwelling homes in the area and said they were con­tin­u­ing to be built by Homes R Us and rented out as two sep­a­rate dwellings.

Phone calls to Homes R Us went unan­swered yes­ter­day and in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed ad­min­is­tra­tors were ap­pointed in July.

The com­pli­ance is­sues were dis­cussed af­ter Mr Ellery said the coun­cil had re­ceived an ap­pli­ca­tion re­gard­ing 5 Mandi Court, how­ever the coun­cil yes­ter­day de­clined to com­ment.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, Mr Ellery said the coun­cil was suc­cess­ful ear­lier this year in pros­e­cut­ing the owner of the premises for op­er­at­ing a dual oc­cu­pancy with­out the ap­pro­pri­ate per­mits and she had un­til De­cem­ber to make sure one of the dwellings was empty.

“This ap­pli­ca­tion comes off the back of the en­force­ment ac­tion and the owner has un­til De­cem­ber this year to cease or ob­tain nec­es­sary ap­provals,” he said.

“Of­fi­cers rec­om­mend re­fusal of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

“Mandi Court has been sub­ject to over de­vel­op­ment by the builder at the cen­tre of our com­pli­ance ac­tion.”

He said all but one house in Mandi Court had been con­structed as dwellings with a se­condary dwelling.

As a re­sult, Mr Ellery said the den­sity in the street, in a res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment, had dou­bled and “all of those dwellings are sub­ject to fur­ther com­pli­ance let­ters”.

Mr Ellery also told coun­cil­lors that the ma­jor­ity of the homes in the neigh­bour­ing street, Ali­son Drive, were “in a sim­i­lar boat”.

He said the over de­vel­op­ment was caus­ing an “un­de­sir­able im­pact” on the area.

Di­vi­sion 4 coun­cil­lor He­len Black­burn said she had been told that emer­gency ser­vice ve­hi­cles had not been able to travel down the street due to the num­ber of cars parked on the road­side.

“Am­bu­lances couldn’t get through. There was not enough space for am­bu­lances in an emer­gency,” Cr Black­burn said.

A coun­cil fact sheet, read­ily avail­able on its web­site, states a prop­erty is not classed as a se­condary dwelling and in­stead be­comes a dual oc­cu­pancy if sep­a­rate house­holds are oc­cu­py­ing the dwelling, there are sep­a­rate lease ar­range­ments or there are sep­a­rate street ad­dresses.

In Mandi Court, the only give­away from the street that homes may be oc­cu­pied by more than one house­hold are dou­ble let­ter­boxes.

Park­ing is clearly an is­sue along the road­way.

Fol­low­ing May’s court de­ci­sion that one of Ms Lalis’s dwellings had to be va­cated by De­cem­ber, coun­cil plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment spokesman Ross Som­mer­feld said the rul­ing sent a mes­sage that util­is­ing a sec­ond­ing dwelling as dual oc­cu­pancy was il­le­gal un­der the Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil Plan­ning Scheme.

“Each dwelling is fully self­con­tained, with its own front door en­try, bed­rooms, kitchen, lounge and din­ing area, laun­dry, garage, pa­tio space and bath­rooms,” he said.

“The mes­sage here is that builders and po­ten­tial prop­erty in­vestors should com­ply with the plan­ning scheme.”

At the time, Cr Som­mer­feld said there were other in­stances of un­ap­proved dual oc­cu­pancy in the re­gion where en­force­ment or­ders would be is­sued.

Ms Lalis’s ap­pli­ca­tion will be heard at the coun­cil’s or­di­nary meet­ing on Tues­day.

Phone calls to the cer­ti­fier and the ad­min­is­tra­tors were not re­turned yes­ter­day.

‘‘ AM­BU­LANCES COULDN’T GET THROUGH. THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR AM­BU­LANCES IN AN EMER­GENCY.

COUN­CIL­LOR HE­LEN BLACK­BURN

Photo: Mike Knott BUN111018MANDI7

EN­FORCE­MENT OR­DER: The Mandi Court prop­erty at the cen­tre of a court case won by Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil.

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