Dual occupancy appeals against council rulings withdrawn
BUNDABERG Regional Council has welcomed the withdrawal of "all legal appeals" against its determinations on a number of dual occupancy dwellings.
The council's group manager development spokesman Michael Ellery said in early 2018 the Planning and Environment Court dismissed an appeal against the council's enforcement notice regarding a dual occupancy at Mandi Court, Kalkie.
"The decision made it clear that the use of the premises was a dual occupancy and was being conducted without the necessary approvals under the Bundaberg Regional Council Planning Scheme," he said.
"It sent a message that builders should comply with the planning scheme and buyers should get legal advice when purchasing a new home.
"Following the court's decision, council wrote to approximately 50 property owners with similar circumstances."
A dual occupancy or a 'duplex' is two dwellings on one lot - either attached to one another or detached.
Each dwelling can be separately serviced, leased and on separate titles in a body corporate.
Mr Ellery said originally 23 appeals were lodged in early 2019 but most were subsequently withdrawn.
"Ten appeals were set for trial commencing on 28 September 2020 for two weeks," he said.
"Seven of these appeals were withdrawn last week and the final three were withdrawn [yesterday]."
The council will now seek to ensure all of the properties identified at the beginning of the process are being used correctly as houses with secondary dwellings.
"Inappropriate use of these properties as dual occupancy dwellings has caused significant amenity issues for nearby residents in neighbourhoods including parking, traffic and emergency access," he said.
According to the council's dual occupancy fact sheet, if you are in the Low or Medium Density Residential Zone, and you meet the requirements for accepted development (acceptable outcomes) in the Dual Occupancy Code, a planning approval is generally not required - a building approval dealt with by a Building Certifier.
When it does not comply a code assessable development application is required to be lodged with council.
Where a dual occupancy does not comply with the acceptable outcomes, a code assessable development application is required to be lodged with the council.
Heritage, neighbourhood character and flood hazard overlays may also trigger code assessment.
"In particular council is unlikely to support the intensification of residential uses, including for a dual occupancy, in a flood hazard area," the document reads.
For more information on duel occupancies contact the council on 1300 883 699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org