YOUR lifestyle is at risk

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THIS COULD BECOME YOUR VIEW

OF THE BLOCK NEXT DOOR 

a2231-plumber-yard-1

 

Two people who have for four years been breaching the rules for Home Based Contracting are now asking the Development Consent Authority to legitimise their actions, and to allow for their expansion. They are seeking dispensation from requirements that are supposed to protect their neighbours and the community at large.

 

Allowing this application would lead to ongoing industrial activity in a residential area, creating noise, conceivably 24/7, for an unlimited time, increased traffic and visual pollution by structures, vehicles, machinery and demountables.

 

You can object to this. You can demand that the existing rules not be broken, and the existing limitations not extended and modified to your disadvantage.

 

Home Based Contracting is permitted in the following zones: Single Dwelling, Multiple Dwelling, Medium Density Residential, High Density, Community Living, Central Business, Commercial, Service Commercial, Tourist commercial, Utility, General Industrial, Organised Recreation, Horticulture, Agriculture, Rural Residential, Rural Living, Rural, Community Purpose.

 

If you or your friends live in any of these zones, please act.

 

Your objection could be as simple as: “I don’t want a further intrusion of industrial businesses into residential areas.”

 

You are also welcome to copy and paste from the draft submission below, in full or in part.

 

We suggest provide just one signature per submission (for example, ask your partner to send one, too). Any submission carrying more than one signature may be counted as just one submission.

 

You can find details of the application here:-

 

https://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/planningPopup/lta.dar.view/91256703?inlinePopup

 

Head your submission like this:

 

I am objecting to the application for HOME BASED CONTRACTING and HOME OCCUPATION USE at NT PORTION 1893 (No 6) PETRICK ROAD, ALICE SPRINGS, on the following grounds.

 

The submission (deadline 4pm May 8) can be lodged in any of the following ways. (Ask for acknowledgement of receipt):-

• Completing the online form on the department’s website https://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/planning and go to planning notices >  Alice Springs > scroll to “N.T. Portion 01893” > make submission;

• Email to das.dlpe@nt.gov.au;

• Fax to 08 8951 9222;

• Hand delivery to Ground Floor, Greenwell Building, 50 Bath Street; or

• Post to PO Box 2130, Alice Springs  NT  0871.

 

 

DRAFT SUBMISSION, for your consideration:-

 

Dear Chairman,

 

I am objecting to the application for HOME BASED CONTRACTING and HOME OCCUPATION USE at NT PORTION 1893 (No 6) PETRICK ROAD, ALICE SPRINGS, on the following grounds.

 

The definition of Home Based Contracting appears to require that application to be dismissed out of hand, but I will address other issues as well.

 

Home Based Contracting means “the storage on the site of a dwelling of materials and/or vehicles associated with a business operated by a person resident in the dwelling, but which business does not operate from the site of the dwelling”.

 

The following four quotes from the application make it clear that the applicants have every intention to “operate” the business from Portion 1893, and consequently the granting of the application must be ruled out. (In fact it is unclear why the application has even been accepted in the first place, causing neighbours and other members of the public unnecessary worry and aggravation and putting them to the effort of making submissions to protect their lifestyle and investments.)

 

Quote 1: The applicants run a small, family-based plumbing business, Aldirect Plumbing and Gas Fitting Pty Ltd, with Steve Zanca managing the plumbing work team and his wife, Lily Tan, managing the company’s administration office. (This statement is later repeated in another part of the application.)

 

Quote 2: The two rooms presently used as offices are situated in an existing shed on the property.

 

Quote 3: In the main shed a space … will remain available for use by the business’s HBC activities … and Home Occupation.

 

Quote 4: The applicants’ desire to run their small Home Based Contracting plumbing business alongside their place of residence. Note the word “run”.

 

The block in question is in a rural living area where people have made substantial investments, both financial and through their labour, caring for and improving their land, to create a peaceful, pleasant environment.

 

About four years ago the applicants built a shed of more than 400 square metres and 6.8 metres high, with the clear intention of engaging in an industrial activity that is in direct conflict with the character of the area, and the permitted use.

 

Evidence collected by their immediate neighbour, Ross Copland, and not denied by the applicants, convincingly indicates that they have operated a plumbing business from that block, in a way directly contravening the conditions applying to Home Based Contracting as it is permitted on that land.

 

They have done so with the acquiescence of the government regulatory bodies to which the immediate neighbours, Ross and Angela Copland, have made several complaints over the years.

 

The applicants are now seeking to legitimise their activities and obtain dispensation from constraints that are designed to contain Home Based Contracting to an acceptable level.

 

The consequence would be that the neighbourhood has imposed upon it a noisy industrial activity entirely out of character with the area, increasing the level of traffic and population density, and even further diminishing that area’s amenity than their current activities have caused.

 

Noises of manufacturing – grinding, sawing, hammering and so on – frequently come from the block. This manufacturing is clearly in conflict with “storage” – the only use permitted.

 

For four years now the applicants have been operating in a manner that detracts from the amenity of the locality.

 

Contrary to the Planning Scheme they are exceeding by far the 200 square meters allowed to be used for Home Based Contracting in the rural area.

 

A greater demand or load than ordinarily required is imposed on public utilities because an industrial and manufacturing enterprise uses water and electricity.

 

Goods and equipment are visible from outside the site.

 

More than three vehicles are kept on the site – sometimes more than 10. Some are clearly associated with the business.

 

By their conduct over four years the applicants have treated existing regulations with contempt, which suggests they would do so with any other conditions, should these be granted by the government.

 

The neighbourhood would be exposed to noisy industrial activities, which have been common for the past four years, conceivably 24/7 and for an unlimited time.

 

Further, a part of the shed has been fitted out with dwelling areas, with water and sewerage facilities, apparently without proper planning consent. The zoning allows only for one dwelling and one granny flat.

 

The applicants are now seeking to use for their industrial pursuits much more land than is permitted: 400 squ/m for the shed, 72 squ/m for parking, 100 squ/m for storage, 240 squ/m and a further storage area of 340 squ/m – an apparent total of 1152 squ/m – nearly six times the allowed maximum.

 

Given that granting the application would be entirely inappropriate, the proposed extensive clearing of native vegetation, which is protected by law, would “unreasonably contribute to environmental degradation of the locality” – in conflict with  the Act.

 

In their “assessment of the benefit or detriment to the public interest of the development” the applicants are stating – cynically – that the “proposed re-organisation … will improve the amenity of the area … as well as most likely having a positive impact upon land values”.

 

Having drastically diminished the amenity of this residential area, the applicants now claim they would be improving it. In four years they have done nothing to mitigate the degradation, by them, of NT Portion 1893. Only now that this has become a matter of public controversy are they saying that they will to do something about this.

 

The applicants say: “A building certifier has been engaged by the Owner to ensure that the Shed and its internal fit-out comply with the requirements of the Building Act.” That seems to indicate that the fit-out has proceeded without prior approval.

 

There is the following note on the building permit for the shed: “Stage 2: internal fitout to part of shed to create habitable rooms for a detached dwelling extensions – issued 11/04/2014 lodged 14/04/2014.”

 

I believe these alterations changed the use of the building in such a way as to require an exceptional development permit, with pink signs and opportunity for public comment. I understand this has not taken place.

 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Alice Springs News Online March 3 or March 5 or March 12.

 

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