Law firm steps in to represent Bundy residents
A BRISBANE law firm says a misinterpretation of the local planning scheme is costing Bundaberg home-owners tens-of-thousands of dollars each to rectify the issue.
This comes after a number of homes across the region have been used for dual occupancy, without the necessary approvals under the Bundaberg Regional Council's planning scheme.
The legal firm, Certus, has now taken on more than 20 cases, and believes this amount could double, in a bid to allow the home-owners to use their properties as they see fit, including renting them out to separate households.
Certus director Darryl Richards said the problem was widespread and it was not the council's fault, but came down to misinterpretation of the code by builders or developers.
"The interpretation that is incorrect is that of the Dwelling House Code (9.2.6) and particularly that in relation to Secondary Dwellings (P09),” he said.
"The definition in Schedule 1 of the definition of Secondary Dwelling is particularly important. "A dwelling used in conjunction with, and subordinate to, a dwelling house on the same lot.”
Earlier this year the Planning and Environment Court dismissed an appeal against the council's enforcement notice regarding Katherine Lalis's dual occupancy at Mandi Court, Kalkie.
At last month's council meetings it was ruled Ms Lalis had until December to stop using her home as a dual occupancy.
A notice of appeal was lodged last week seeking the decision to be set aside.
Mr Richards said he was confident the owners had winnable cases and was preparing to argue the homeowners could meet the performance outcomes of of the planning scheme.
He said if the acceptable outcome couldn't be met, as long as the performance outcome was met the dual occupancy should be allowable.
Bundaberg Regional Council declined to comment on the matter.