Asphyxia, Byron Shire
In response to Lifting the lid on Byron Shire Council’s unauthorised dwelling amnesty, I write to support the comment that ‘if you come forward, you enter a potential bureaucratic nightmare. It is so convoluted and expensive and can give people nervous breakdowns.’
As a landowner currently trying to get a permit for an unauthorised dwelling (which I had been told would tick all the boxes for Council certification), I can confirm the nightmare and expense. I am a DIY person, but the Council requirements force you to hire a long line of very expensive experts for every aspect of approval.
Not only that, but I am forced to upgrade from an inexpensive, low-resource, waste management system, which my research shows is environmentally safe and friendly, to an expensive system that is much more resource-intensive. The stress in trying to find DIY low-resource and low-cost solutions while navigating confusing requirements has indeed driven me close to a nervous breakdown.
The total bill looks set to be $35,000 (not a cent of which will improve my life in any way) and I have given up trying to adhere to my low-cost/low-resource principles, which is soul-destroying. No wonder Byron Shire has a problem with affordable housing!