ENFORCEMENT ORDER: The Mandi Court property at the centre of a court case won by Bundaberg Regional Council.
ENFORCEMENT ORDER: The Mandi Court property at the centre of a court case won by Bundaberg Regional Council. Mike Knott BUN111018MANDI7

Compliance concerns after builder goes into administration

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 self-contained, 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.

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