Following a $6,000 on the spot fine for a Eurobodalla developer, Council is urging residents to err on the side of caution when it comes to development consent.
The recent fine was associated with unauthorised earthworks, with Councl concerned by a spate of illegal development involving tiny houses, demountables, cabins, and shipping containers in the past year.
“Residents should remember that in the majority of circumstances, placement of structures on your land requires development consent,” says Deb Lenson, Council’s Manager of Environmental Services.
“That includes obvious things like buildings, swimming pools and retaining walls, and we also strongly recommend contacting Council for advice prior to buying a shipping container, cabin or a tiny house.
“You might think ‘it’s only small and it’s my land’ but structures like these can impact the environment and your neighbours.
“That’s why terms and conditions are connected to development consents and why all councils take them so seriously.”
Fines range from $1,500 for an individual to $6,000 for a corporation and can be issued on the spot for illegal development, along with orders to restore the site or demolish unauthorised work.
“Significant breaches may be pursued through the courts,” Ms Lenson adds, “resulting in fines up to $1.1 million for a corporation.
“Everyone involved in the illegal development may be held accountable and that includes owners, contractors, company directors, even employees.
“Our advice is err on the side of caution and ask for Council’s assistance early on.”
Eurobodalla Shire Council has a development helpdesk to provide guidance on preparing applications. Informal meetings at the Council main office can be arranged with planning staff to provide general advice prior to lodgement of a development application.
A formal Development Application Pre-Lodgement Panel service is available for larger developments.