Woman vows to fight ruling
AN Innes Park woman has vowed to fight on after she lost a court battle against Bundaberg Regional Council over the house she wants to build on her foreshore property.
Ann Conquest said the only problem was she had built the pad for her house before the construction plans had been approved by the council.
But Mrs Conquest said she had been in consultation with council officers the whole time.
“According to the planning scheme, I am entitled to build my house 6m back from the high-water mark,” she said.
A council spokesman said the development application by Mrs Conquest was refused on April 7, 2009.
The Conquests had the right to appeal against the decision within 20 business days, but the appeal asking for an extension of time was not filed until October 23, 2009.
In the Planning and Environment Court, Judge Deborah Richards ruled the delay in filing the appeal was “significant” and the Conquests had “not shown an acceptable reason for delay”.
Council planning and development manager Andrew Fulton said the court's decision was part of ongoing enforcement proceedings for unlawful operational work and opened the way for the matter to be pursued further in the magistrates court.
“The council remains committed to pursuing breaches of the planning scheme, particularly in sensitive locations adjoining the Marine Park,” he said.
An emotional Mrs Conquest said yesterday the whole thing had been a nightmare for her.
“I built the pad because my building plans were held up,” she said.
“They've got me on a technicality.”
She said she believed her pad complied with the planning scheme.
Mrs Conquest said she was now faced with the prospect of demolishing her building pad, then waiting until her plans went through the council approval process before building it again.
She said the whole thing had upset her so much she had put her 8ha property up for sale.
“They want me to build my house in the middle of the paddock,” she said.