Neighbours hit the roof over ‘nuisance’ property
A Queensland family have taken their neighbours to court claiming the glare of bouncing sunlight from their "bright white" roof hurts their eyes and triggers migraines.
Daniel and Rochelle Jones who live in a new housing development with views toward the sea near Hervey Bay, want the Planning and Environment Court in Brisbane to force Andrew and Tertia Searle to repaint, treat, vary or replace the roofs on their house and shed with a darker colour.
Mr Jones, a father of three who has lived in Craignish for five years, claims the glare from the Searles' home and shed on Glenco Dr damaged his corneas with pterygiums, and gave his wife migraines, according to documents filed in the court in Brisbane.
He also claims that his family now wear sunglasses inside the Parview Dr house and close their curtains, and the glare caused his father to trip up the stairs and hurt his back.
He has applied to the court under environmental nuisance laws and claims the glare has forced him to throw out some furniture which allegedly grew mouldy when windows and curtains were shut to escape the glare.
Mr Jones hired expert engineer Paul King who believes the roofs are an environmental nuisance due to reflected light and the location and orientation of the buildings.
Mr King states in his report that the fact that the Jones house is highset and overlooks the Searle's house makes the reflection worse.
Mr Jones claims when the Searle family built the shed next door three years ago in Craignish they promised the roofs would be a "dull grey".
But Mr Searle has hit back at Mr Jones' claims by accusing him of "abusive and indecent backyard behaviours" and trespassing in their yard, court documents state.
The Searle's say Mr Jones' claims in the case are contrived, a "sham", or "exaggerated and factually incorrect" and say that "matters that relate to alleged personal injuries should be expunged" from the claim.
A mediation held in November failed, but one potential solution involved painting the shed roof "basalt", installing whirlybirds and insulation to keep the shed cool.
Mr Jones was due to file his evidence last week.
He told the court he had called the local council but they had failed to respond to his request for help.
The case, which was launched in August last year, is due back in court on August 17.
Neither neighbour responded to requests for comment yesterday.
Originally published as Neighbours hit the roof over 'nuisance' property