Joondanna pensioner hears wall can remain


Betty Gibbings (with her dog Tommy) is relieved she will not have to knock down her front wall. Picture: Andrew Ritchie         www.communitypix.com.au   d457060
Betty Gibbings (with her dog Tommy) is relieved she will not have to knock down her front wall. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d457060

Betty Gibbings received a letter on June 1, after a visit from council compliance officers stating she had just eight weeks to remove her wall.

The 66-year-old, whose front entrance is off a laneway, said she was devastated due to the costs and security risks involved in demolishing the 22-year-old wall.

“The house was built in 1994 and the wall is built in the same brick and dimensions – 1.8m high and 8.5m long – as the other three homes in the laneway. Two previous owners have lived here without an issue,” she said.

Ms Gibbings said a neighbour’s recent subdivision prompted the council to re-peg her property.

“I met with the compliance and planning officers at their request after receiving the letter. I told them I’m a pensioner who cannot afford to rebuild a new wall, and that I was worried about living on a laneway with direct access into my house,” she said. “But my requests fell on deaf ears.”

It was after Ms Gibbings contacted the Stirling Times that she received some good news. A City spokesman said as the fence was built about 20 years ago, it did not need a building permit.

“The Right Of Way (ROW) next to this property is a category 4 ROW and is planned for closure, therefore no truncation is required,” he said.

“The laneway is planned for a lighting upgrade in approximately 2029, and the current width is fine and will not require relocation of the fence.”

The spokesman said the encroachment into the right of way would need to be authorised after it was formally surveyed, but no formal application process or fees were involved.