This carport in Nielsen St, East Lismore, has caused stress for the owners and neighbours.
This carport in Nielsen St, East Lismore, has caused stress for the owners and neighbours. Contributed

How a simple carport became a stressful, costly mistake

IT WAS only meant to be a carport costing around $9000, but it's become a very expensive problem after it was discovered to be non-compliant.

And after a debate in which many councillors admitted they found the review of the development application confusing, they voted to grant the carport owners a two-month extension to sort out the problem.

At Lismore City Council's meeting on Tuesday night, East Lismore resident Janine Wilson addressed councillors about the stress she and her husband Robert had suffered since their Nielsen St neighbours, Connie and Raymond Sporne, built a carport in 2017 which did not meet its approval requirements.

Mrs Wilson said the non-complaint structure blocked views and reflected noise.

 

This carport in Nielsen St, East Lismore, has caused stress for the owners and neighbours.
This carport in Nielsen St, East Lismore, has caused stress for the owners and neighbours. Contributed

"As the independent planner said in his report, our loss of view was not iconic or extensive but it is very important to us," she said.

"We used to sit out at our front table, it was the only place we had with privacy, we used drink our coffee, do crosswords and have lunch, now all we see is a grey metal structure."

Mrs Wilson said the independent report also found "the carport would not have been approved had it been presented in the as built form".

She said any suggestion from her neighbours that a delay in the council agreeing to to their request could result in legal proceedings should be ignored.

Mrs Wilson then spoke about council report.  

"We urge you not to be intimated by a suggestion that a refusal could result in costly legal action," she said.

"It's improper, this intimidation."

Sitting on the opposite side of the council chambers, Mr and Mrs Sporne requested an extension on the review of their DA in order to consult with their designer and builder and come up with a solution to the problem.

Although the matter was discussed at the November 2018 meeting, Mrs Sporne said they only recently learned their DA and their constructions plans, which had been approved by council, differed.

"My husband and I have suffered an enormous amount of stress and costs, now everyone's attention has been brought to the height discrepancy," she said.

"We requested a deferral until we could supply information to relevant parties."

The council's acting executive director of sustainable development, Peter Jeuken, said the owners were responsible for their carport being non-compliant with their DA.

Cr Elly Bird said two months was too long for a matter which has been dragging on since 2017.

But after some debate councillors agreed it was a complex issue and voted to defer the matter for two month for the applicant to make further representation on the matter.



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