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.
About time that Byron Council takes LEC action against the hundreds of illegal dwellings in the shire. Particularly the ones that are illegally holiday let.
The people in these dwellings are obviously desperate for affordable housing. This current crop of councilors appear to have a social conscience. So wouldn’t it be better to facilitate this kind of development rather than throwing the needy onto the street or some local park? There’s a hell of a lot of money and staff time being spent on arty farty art galleries for the elite but not on essential core services. Council would also be advised to do some soul searching around the money being spent on numbers of non productive staff being paid to “evaluate” customer satisfaction or “review” administrative practices or “monitor” staff performance. This type of expenditure cancer has infected many modern businesses and needs to be excised to release money for what Council’s real function is. Roads, bridges, garbage etc etc.
It’s openly discussed that people on low incomes are unable or struggling to locate affordable accommodation. 1% of the population owns as much wealth as 70%. Isn’t it time that a limit was placed on income and wealth? Why not redistribute the property pool? Does LCC think that people want or like living in sub standard dwellings?
Well, considering environmental impacts of “housing development” in such a unique area as the far north coast, maybe L.C.C. would develop a booklet to guide people (with the incentive to rough it in an environmental lifestyle, there is too much information on how to rough it) to live in a healthy sustainable area without contributing to any problems associated with “housing development” and encourage regard to efficient safe and healthy living standards. thus assisting in “correct health living standards”
There definitely needs to be a much more humanitarian response to this issue. Rather than adding to people’s distress and disadvantage by fining them or evicting them perhaps there should be assistance available to bring dwellings up to basic standards. Forcing people into homelessness and destitution is surely not the solution. Looking to our Councillors to take a stand on this and work with staff on finding less threatening positive ways to deal with this issue.