Year-long battle to keep carport ends in 'shock' result
A MAN'S year-long battle with council has ended with a tribunal giving him approval to keep his 10-year-old carport after he was told to tear it down.
The man, who didn't want to be named during the tribunal appeal period, first received a letter from Sunshine Coast Council in January last year advising that his car port didn't have council approval.
The structure was attached to the Mooloolaba house when the man bought it 10 years ago.
"It was a shock to our system," he said.
"They didn't give any reason other than it not having the appropriate approval.
"Our options were to pull it down or seek retrospective approval.
"We never considered pulling it down because it had been up for so long and we never had any adverse feedback from neighbours."
The homeowner lodged an application with council to have the car port approved.
A council spokeswoman said the application was thoroughly assessed on its merits against the dwelling house code within the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014.
"In this instance, the carport application assessment concluded that it did not comply with the provisions of the planning scheme and could not be altered to comply with the relevant requirements," the spokeswoman said.
"Due process was followed and the owner subsequently appealed the decision to the State Government's Development Tribunal."
The tribunal took place onsite in October with councillor John Connolly in attendance providing his support for the approval.
"We do need a review of where people can build car ports because one street can have 12 and another can have none," he said.
"In saying that, there is a reason approvals are needed because you can't have people building car ports to fit a garage in there and a bedroom."
The tribunal heard the appeal, considered letters of support from neighbours in the street and allowed the carport to remain.
The decision was passed down earlier this month.
"We were totally elated," the owner said.
"The whole thing has been extremely stressful and council don't seem to take any human factors into account."
The council spokeswoman said conditions were imposed with the approval which required modifications to the carport to "reinforce the existing patterns of building and landscape elements in the street and enhance the visual appearance of the structure".
"They were the same changes I suggested to I could make to council in the application I lodged last year," the owner said.
"This protracted process was a waste of money for everyone involved."
The owner said a number of other residents in his neighbourhood were having problems with car port approvals.