Contrary to popular belief, illegal building works are common. These are unlawful constructions and additions conducted with a valid permit from the local council or proper government authority. Over the years, many illegal building works have sprouted in Sydney, North Coast and various other regions of New South Wales. According to experts it is because of rapid population growth, as NSW is a popular state of Australia and every year people migrate to its areas internally and internationally.
As an investor, developer or someone interested in buying a property in New South Wales, it is crucial you avoid illegal building works. By taking assistance of a professional urban planning and building consultancy, you can prevent this situation from arising and have a legal construction approved by the local council.
What happens when an illegal building work is reported?
When someone spots an un-approved construction, he/she reports it to the municipal corporation and files a complaint following the right procedure. It is also possible that the corporation learns about the illegal construction through its investigators or inspectors. In any case a legal notice is sent and time is provided for response.
What is the process of the notice?
- Any notice for illegal building works is mailed or emailed to the person living at the and given a specific time for replying.
- The person who is served the notice also has time to get a stay order from the court.
- In case the person who is given the notice doesn’t respond within the stipulated time, the construction is automatically liable for demolition.
- If anyone wants to lodge a complaint with the government there is an online portal.
- Furthermore, anyone can lodge a complaint with police and can take help for prevention of illegal construction.
What are the mostcommonunauthorised building constructions?
Here are some of the common illegal works found in Sydney, North Coast or other regions of New South Wales (NSW). Have a look.
- Pools and spa areas
- Patios, gazebos and non-compliant decks
- Sheds & garages
- Granny flats
- Backpackers hostel without permit
- Renovations, alterations, and additions
- Boarding house without permit
- Change of use
Usually, the council is notified about these constructions through complaints lodged by responsible citizens. But, many illegal constructions are found by during regular inspections/audits by the council representatives.
Understanding The Laws
Schedule 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 is taken into consideration when the local council issues for unauthorised building works. The law and the component covers a variety of categories such as stop use orders, stop works orders, demolish works orders and remove advertising orders.
The Act and its regulations also detail the processesto be followed by the councils before issuing an order. Notice of intention is first issued for a proposed order so that the property ownershave the opportunity to represents themselves before a final order is passed. During the notice period, the owner can appeal the issue and get a stay orderfrom the Land and Environment Court.
Councils may not always act in a completely legalistic way and Council officers may in many cases discuss a potential issue verbally with the affected party first before issuing an order.
Giving owners proper time to respond to notices is useful because they can get the required approvals to resolve the issue related to their unauthorised building works. But, it is important to note that this is easy or challenging depending on the policies and procedures of a local council.
The Bottom Line
Property owners andbuilders need to be careful while developing or buying a property. One of the best solutions to avoid illegal building works is to hire professionals that offer urban planning and building consultancy services in NSW. The professionals can help you plan and develop your property with the required approvals and ensure everything goes smoothly.