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RETAINING WALL DISPUTE WITH COUNCIL

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by L. B., 17 July 2017.

  1. L. B.

    L. B. Member

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    Hi,
    We bought a property 5 years ago which has a large (6foot) retaining wall on it (Our block is sloped down from the road level). The Timber Sleeper and Timber Stumped wall (which has live termites and Rot by the way) is retaining the council Footpath and Road Reserve. The only survey that has been drawn up we are guessing was conducted around the time the roads were built (1920-1930) and doesn't show anything about the wall or give us any idea where our property boundary lines are. Therefore the council has denied any knowledge of the wall and that it must have been built by a previous owner. Our Council did lose alot of property files back in the 80's apparently so this may be why there is no information of our property. From what i have found council has to give consent to build a retaining wall higher than 1mtr therefore they should have records of it. When we bought the property we were also told by the real estate that it was council land.
    Where do we go from here? is there a higher authority we can talk to? If we have a survey done and it states its council land do they automatically have responsibility? I have already spoken to council 3 times and the local councilors and engineers.
    Thanks
     
  2. Matt King

    Matt King Well-Known Member

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    Hi L.B.

    Retaining walls and Local Council's can be a very tricky area.

    In short, Development Approval should have been sought initially. If not, then it becomes an issue between the landowner and your local council.

    If you cant resolve the issue with them then you have the Land and Environment Court to appeal to.

    Matt
     
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  3. Tripe

    Tripe Well-Known Member

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    Most modern councils (+ states) run A GIS system that allows free use to the public that is capable of displaying aerial photos of your property and accurate cadastral boundary lines, you should be able to access this on your PC and see where your boundaries are. This can be a quick method to see where things are.

    Other than this, you will need to engage a registered land surveyor to repeg your boundary, $1000?

    I don't think you can think much further about your problem until you know where you property boundary finishes.
     
  4. Claire Colonsay

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    Hi L.B.

    Please let me know how you get on. We also have a section of land that we rent from the council - part of the nature strip but it extends into where we want to build a garage (that was recently demolished). We are being told that we have to build a massive self-supporting wall (on their land) and the cheapest quote so far is around $150,000!! This is nothing to do with the garage itself, which cannot use the separate wall in any way for its construction. I am struggling to see how this is our concern. It is to ensure stability of the road and footpath so surely it is a matter for roads and maritime, or the council itself. Furthermore, up and down the same road, there are areas where there is no support, or crumbling sandstone walls.
     
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