FALLING RISK: Councillor Paul Tully outside the Aristotle Street home that engineers say could slip into the excavation site below.
FALLING RISK: Councillor Paul Tully outside the Aristotle Street home that engineers say could slip into the excavation site below. Hayden Johnson

Plan in place if home starts collapsing into worksite

IPSWICH City Council officers will be able to swiftly respond if a home at Augustine Heights becomes further at risk of slipping into a worksite below. Earlier this month a stop-work notice was issued to an owner builder on Aristotle Avenue after land began to slip away from a home above.

Lourdus Chinnappa believes site excavation at a neighbouring block on Aristotle Avenue has weakened a sandstone wall and caused the earth at the side of his property to fall but owner-builder Yusham Liu says stormwater from recent heavy rain is to blame.

Mr Liu is excavating a vacant site ahead of the construction of a home at the block below Mr Chinnappa's property.

Council officers determined the retaining wall separating the two sites had started to fail and was dangerous.

A stop-work notice was issued along with an enforcement notice for an engineer to be engaged and rectification works to be completed.

Division two councillor Paul Tully, who investigated early reports at the site, said the situation would be monitored during the festive season when the council's offices were closed.

"During the Christmas break council can respond to complaints as needed," he said.

"If the situation in Aristotle Street should unexpectedly change, then officers will be able to respond."

Cr Tully said the situation had improved since the notice was issued to the worker on December 7.

"The owner builder has engaged an engineer and conducted temporary works to stabilise the site," he said.

"The enforcement notice requires the remedial work to be completed early next year.

Cr Tully said the council's development compliance officers would conduct further inspections in the New Year.

"Officers are satisfied that the risk to the adjoining property is being managed in accordance with the requirements of the engineer," he said.

Next to the $650,000, four-bedroom home a retaining wall and fencing have already fallen.

There is no evidence work undertaken by Mr Liu was the cause of the sandstone wall to slide.

Mr Chinnappa's home was built in 2008 and sits about four metres above the vacant block.

A spokesman for the Queensland Building and Construction Commission confirmed it was aware of this situation and was investigating.

According to legislation, the commission can take disciplinary action for any licence breaches, "where appropriate".

Council call

If you need to contact the Ipswich City Council during the Christmas period phone

(07) 3810 6666.



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