14 C
Byron Shire
October 5, 2022

Questioning Council

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Regarding Hans Lovejoy’s article regarding Council ‘needing to get a spine and represent the community for a change’ and ‘Shouldn’t councillors question poor policy and intervene in operational matters (in the exercise of Council’s regulatory functions) when it is causing reputational damage to Council?’

As a community member at the mercy of Council staff’s failure to follow correct procedures or enforce regulatory functions regarding the approval of a DA, a Construction Certificate and now an Occupation Certificate for my neighbour’s development, I am now in a position where there is constant stormwater, silt and debris flowing into my property from, what, to me, is celearly a non-compliant development next door. My objection to the development included a civil engineer’s report outlining false and misleading calculations, the raised land levels and existing problems with flooding. The DA was approved without the certifiers seemingly taking the time to check calculations, land levels, stormwater and drainage and landscaping plans.

Normal procedures are to put all this information on exhibition; this was not done. Prior to construction beginning, a contour survey denoting land levels in relation to adjacent properties and roadways  [must] be provided and erosion control measures must be in place to prevent encroachment on to neighbouring properties; this was not done.

After repeatedly contacting the certifiers, the general manager, Council’s legal counsel, the Planning/Compliance director, then the Ombudsman, the Dept of Fair Trading said they have no jurisdiction over Council, the Community Justice Centres who closed the meeting as my neighbour was too aggressive, then the minister for Local Government, who said they have no jurisdiction and suggested I contact the mayor, Michael Lyon. I did so and he and Cr Duncan Dey came and did a site visit on 17 December last year, saw the inadequacy of the stormwater and drainage system, and the mayor assured me that he would get the situation rectified. He hasn’t, and neither he nor Cr Dey have responded to my emails. Now an Occupation Certificate has been approved – it should be revoked as the development does not comply with building codes, Council regulations and conditions of consent.

Michele Gurton, Brunswick Heads

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