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Penalties for development without consent

Wednesday 2 October 2019

Eurobodalla Council is urging residents to err on the side of caution when it comes to development consent.

Prompted by a $6000 on-the-spot fine issued recently to a developer for unauthorised earthworks, the Council is calling on owners and builders to make sure they comply with the conditions of their development.

Council is also reporting a spate of illegal development involving tiny houses, demountables, cabins, and shipping containers in the past year.

“Residents should remember that in the majority of circumstances, placement of structures on your land requires development consent,” says Deb Lenson, Council’s manager of environmental services.

“That includes obvious things like buildings, swimming pools and retaining walls, and we also strongly recommend contacting Council for advice prior to buying a shipping container, cabin or a tiny house.

“You might think ‘it’s only small and it’s my land’ but structures like these can impact the environment and your neighbours.

“That’s why terms and conditions are connected to development consents and why all councils take them so seriously.”

Ms Lenson said fines ranging from $1,500 for an individual to $6,000 for a corporation can be issued on the spot for illegal development, along with orders to restore the site or demolish unauthorised work.

“Significant breaches may be pursued through the courts,” she added, “resulting in fines up to $1.1M for a corporation.

“Everyone involved in the illegal development may be held accountable and that includes owners, contractors, company directors, even employees.

“Our advice is err on the side of caution and ask for Council’s assistance early on.”

Eurobodalla Council has a development helpdesk to provide guidance on preparing applications. Informal meetings at the Council main office can be arranged with planning staff to provide general advice prior to lodgement of a development application. A formal Development Application Pre-Lodgement Panel service is available for larger developments. Call the development helpdesk on 4474 1231.