We advise all our customers to seek approval from their local council/shire before erecting any of our sheds or barns. In most areas throughout Australia any garden shed with a floor area of less than 10m2 will be exempt. Sometimes common sense needs to be used by some councils with what people get to put up in their backyards, as the story below highlights.
A Somerton Park family is facing a $15,000 legal onslaught from Holdfast Bay Council (in SA) over a $600 shed.
Garry and Glenda Edwards erected the 3m x 5m shed, which is 2.5m high, at their Gordon St home six months ago, replacing their 10-year-old olive garden green shed, which had become “old and dilapidated”.
Because the new shed was in the same spot and only “one size bigger” than their old 2.5m x 3m shed, the couple believed they did not need planning approval. But a month later they received a letter from Holdfast Bay Council advising them the shed had been noticed in a routine inspection and must be taken down.
The Edwards applied for retrospective planning approval through the council’s Development Assessment Panel, but were knocked back because the shed was too close to the boundary line and impacted on the streetscape.
“The new shed is in exactly the same spot, the same distance from the boundary line, it just encroaches further towards our house,” Mrs Edwards said. “All we did was replace a small shed with a bit bigger shed because it went better with the house.”
Holdfast Bay councillors voted at this week’s meeting to spend up to $15,000 on legal representation for the case against the Edwards, who have appealed the decision in the Environment, Resources and Development Court.
This was despite a bid by Cr Tim Looker for his colleagues to block the funds. “(The public) will just shake their heads and wonder what we are doing,” he told the meeting.
Save yourself the headaches and let us help you get approval before you order!
A July 4 mediation conference will be the final chance to resolve the dispute before it goes to trial.
Mrs Edwards said she and her husband – who have three children aged 17, 14 and 11 – could not afford to match the council’s legal representation.
If the couple lose the case and are forced to pull down the new shed, they will rebuild the old green shed in the same place, as they are legally able to do.
“I just find the whole thing ridiculous – the old shed will have a worse impact on the streetscape,” she said.
The dispute comes a year after the council pursued an 86-year-old Glenelg East pensioner for trimming the branch of a significant tree belonging to her neighbour – former Holdfast Bay councillor Philip Crutchett. Enid Barnes was facing $120,000 in fines before the council bowed to a public outcry and approved her application.
Holdfast Bay Mayor Ken Rollond said the council had “lost the plot” if it was willing to spend up to $15,000 of ratepayers’ funds on the shed dispute. “It’s absolutely ridiculous … we could be spending up to $15,000 to resolve a dispute over a simple toolshed,” he said.