Home-owners launch legal action against council
IN A last-ditch effort, 16 homeowners are challenging Bundaberg Regional Council's refusal of their dual occupancy applications, taking the fight all the way to the Planning and Environment Court.
Brisbane law firm Certus Legal is representing 16 clients, who launched legal proceedings against the council late last month or earlier this month after becoming embroiled in the saga.
Affected property owners had been issued with compliance notices to cease leasing their dwellings as dual occupancies without appropriate approvals.
Late last year and earlier this year council received numerous dual-occupancy applications, refusing them on a range of grounds including that the proposed dual occupancies did not comply with the purpose and overall outcomes of the Dual Occupancy Code and cannot be conditioned to comply, and that a dual occupancy would result in a dwelling density incompatible with the intended character of the surrounding area.
The widespread issue has impacted pockets of homes built in Kalkie, Branyan and Bargara by now collapsed building company Homes R Us.
In November, Certus director Darryl Richards told the NewsMail his firm had taken on the cases in a bid to enable the homeowners to rent the properties as they saw fit, including to two separate households.
The issues first came to light last year when Mandi Court homeowner Katherine Lalis lost an appeal in the Planning and Environment Court against the council's enforcement notice.
Ms Lalis, who is also represented by Certus Legal, has lodged an appeal seeking that decision be set aside.
In November, MrRichards said he believed the homeowners had a winnable case and that it came down to the misinterpretation by the builders or developers of the planning scheme, in particular the Dwelling House Code (9.2.6) and its relation to Secondary Dwellings (P09).
The proceedings against the council seek to challenge the dual-occupancy refusals, and argue that they were consistent with the character of the residential environment.
With the matter now before the courts, a council representative said they were unable to comment.