A WALL in front of a Scarborough home has caused debate among Stirling councillors.
The retrospective development application for 3.1m wall on a Moorland Street property divided councillors at the December 5 meeting.
A report by the City found the streets walls and fences, sight lines, site works and retaining walls did not meet the R-codes requirements but could be supported under design principles and recommended approval subject to modifications of the structure.
Owner David Neuwen asked during public question time if refusing his application would be a sensible use of funds, given he would appeal the decision at the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), which was expected to cost the City $15,000.
His neighbours Don Telfer and Florence Leoshek also spoke, raising concerns about pedestrian safety and that it would create a precedent as Mr Neuwen proceeded without development approval.
“This is about no truncation on a newly built non-compliant wall that inhibits the vision from our car, and I do not wish to have a remote chance of hitting a small child while reversing,” Mr Telfer said.
Cr Giovanni Italiano moved an alternative motion to refuse the structure because it did not comply with R-codes and there were no sight-line truncations.
He said it was important for people to abide by the rules and believed the City needed to be consistent. “The basic thing is it’s wrong,” he said.
Cr Karen Caddy said she was “genuinely conflicted” and though it should not have been built, needed to judge the application on its merit.
“It’s not 100 per cent in compliance but we have to assess if it’s a significant enough safety risk to be pulled down,” she said.
The motion was passed 8-5 and Ms Leoshek said afterwards she and Mr Telfer were hopeful of a resolution.
“While the outcome of the City council meeting gives us some hope, we would also like to see SAT reflect the wishes of the majority of the Stirling City Council and uphold their rejection,” she said.
“Full truncation of the wall will be a win for safety in the community, a rejection of a precedence for non-conformity in R-codes, and a rejection of non-approved developments.”
Mr Neuwen submitted a development application last December and said it took longer than he anticipated to process so he started work while on holidays over Christmas.
He admitted regret over erecting the structure without approval but believed his current situation should dissuade others from doing the same.
“I think it’s a pretty big message to send, it’s going to cost me an extra $30,000,” he said.
The issue will be subject to a SAT directions hearing.