Illegal dwellings and unlawful building works are in the spotlight after Lismore City Council won two cases in 2016 in the Land & Environment Court.
Two different properties were ordered to remove caravans and other structures following the cases. They were also required to pay councils costs, which in one case amounted to $13,000.
‘Inspections by council staff identified numerous health and safety issues on the premises including a lack of proper waste disposal facilities, dangerous electrical connections and structures that had not been built to appropriate standards including bushfire risks,’ said a Lismore council spokesperson regarding the property in Nimbin.
The second property, in Monaltrie, was ordered to remove caravans and building structures on flood prone land.
‘The outcome in these matters that council has been required to take to court is a clear warning that it can be expensive to undertake unlawful building work,’ council’s development and compliance manager Peter Jeuken said.
Caravans can be used as an addition to existing dwellings but they must have access to the services of the primary dwelling rather than acting as a stand-alone residence. Differing rules apply to caravans located in urban and rural settings and issues around waste disposal and electrical connections can be key in determining their legality.