Standoff at Osprey Drive

Sheila Tippett overseeing the right-of-way. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

It was an old-fashioned standoff in a right-of-way in Welcome Bay.

The contractors wanted to get into a subdivision for a concrete pour.

But there was a blockade. Three cars parked in the right-of-way and Sheila Tippett, leading the cause for the neighbours, waving a trespass notice under their noses. No one was going anywhere, and no work was getting done.

“The developer says it’s costing him $10,000 a day while there’s no work.” says Sheila. “For us it’s a serious inconvenience.”

Sheila’s not a firebrand – more a considered person with a keen sense of fairness and the right of a community to be consulted and informed.

“This is not me versus the developer, contractor or council. It’s much bigger, it’s a community concern and the council should take notice.”

After two weeks of the right-of-way being blocked, communications between all parties were restored, the trespass order withdrawn and a meeting between all parties scheduled.

But there are two issues here – first that right-of-way to Sheila’s property off Osprey Drive. “It’s under-sized,” says Sheila.

“And for 35 metres cars can’t pass.” And it can’t be widened.

The second issue is what Sheila calls inconsistencies – “We ask why some of us, and why not others of us.”

She is referring to her shed. She applied to council for permission to develop the shed into a 60 square metre cottage for her parents.

“But the council said no – we couldn’t have an independent dwelling because of the undersized right-of-way. But you can have a sleep-out.”

Here’s the inconsistency Sheila refers to. Because next door on the subdivision where Sheila believed there would be a maximum of three new homes, there will now be four, possibly adding at least two cars each to an already congested right-of-way.

The council acknowledged the right of way was too narrow, says Sheila, but then took a ‘discretionary decision’ in approving four new homes on the subdivision.

“It seems inconsistent. And had we been aware, we would have made submissions and the outcome for this development could have been quite different.”

In a statement to Sun Media, the council’s environmental planning officer Natalie Rutland says that at 101 Osprey Drive there’s an existing driveway which serves five properties, the subdivision site and 103 and 107 Osprey Drive.

Council considered the effects of allowing an extra site to use the driveway, and granted the subdivision with conditions. The subdivision of the three properties into four fits with the city plan’s density rules.

Sheila is still not happy for this project to proceed.

She says the council’s inconsistency was highlighted by another neighbor who applied for consent to add a room to his house.

“Not a new dwelling, but a room,” says Sheila. “But he wasn’t allowed to because of his undersized drive.”

Again, says Sheila, council seems to have one rule for existing residents and another for developers.

Sheila says the council didn’t consult neighbours because it didn’t believe they were impacted.

And Sheila only found out about the extent of the subdivision when a services plan blew over the fence and landed in her flower bed.

“But we are impacted,” says Sheila.

“The congestion in the right-of-way will affect us. It’ll affect the value of our property depending on the quality of houses going up and we don’t know. It’ll also impact traffic on Osprey Drive.”

She says cars are already hooting, screeching, stopping and starting on a busy Osprey Drive. “And now there will be the added traffic in and out of our right-of-way. Anyone going in will have to stop and back up to give way to cars coming out.”

Back up onto a busy Osprey Drive.

Then Sheila found some comfort.

“I spoke to councillors Bill Grainger and Terry Molloy who both believe I should have been consulted. And they have agreed to go back and find out why we weren’t consulted. I am just concerned about the inconsistencies.”

The Sheila had a “lovely call” from the council’s environmental planning manager, Natalie Rutland.

“She was just touching base and asking how things were going.”

Sheila’s complaint to council had just landed on her desk and she said they’d be looking at the issue in the next couple of weeks.

Now Sheila is waiting to hear what comes of it all.

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Caveman and shared ROW

Posted on 18-06-2017 00:03 | By Murray.Guy

Often the ROW is owned by just ONE of the properties, with other properties having and easement over the driveway for access purposes, sometimes also for their services. Regardless, anyone on a shared ROW has the legal right to that access 24/7, unimpeded. It is a ’civil matter’ rather than a City Council matter when access is restricted or denied, and no quick fix.

Stick with it Sheila...

Posted on 17-06-2017 02:39 | By GreertonBoy

I think you will be getting approval for your granny flat shortly .... It is fascinating how a private person can be told no... and a contractor told yes.... it has to boil down to someone getting paid enough money to say yes?

My understanding is that when a sub-division

Posted on 16-06-2017 22:24 | By The Caveman

Is approved with a ROW, each "legal" section on the ROW has a small section of ROW attached to the section. Thus seven sections on the ROW equals seven equal rights to the ROW. If the original subdivision include three sections that were not developed, then the developer has the right to develop the three sections. HOWEVER if he now wants to subdivide the three sections to FOUR, then he needs the written agreement of ALL - yes ALL of the section owners that have LEGAL right to the ROW. AND he will need to pay for the change to the legal titles of ALL of the land tiles to show the "additional" section and its share of the ROW. HOWEVER if ONE, yes ONE of the owners of a share of the ROW says NO, then no subdivision.

The mouse that roared!

Posted on 16-06-2017 18:21 | By stokey

Go Shiela go. These arrogant bureaucrats will ride rough shod over the peasants but turn a blind eye to the corporates, with their fat wallets. Good on you Sheila and the rest. Stick to your guns. They should have consulted you. It affected you and your neighbours. Right is might!

here we go again

Posted on 16-06-2017 15:30 | By old trucker

Agree with Shiela,TCC, Natalie Rutland making a lovely call to see how things are going,FUNNY how letter has arrived on her desk and will take 2 weeks too look at it,she knows how its going and woman above is DISTRESSED,but does not care, (Iwork for TCC)and will look at this when i have time which will be at least 2 weeks,so you will have too wait,another thing is Shiela was not allowed to have a little cottage to house her parents,(BUT) TCC will allow 4 houses to be built down that drive,(HOW COME) if the drive is to small ,FOR GOSH sake,maybe (just maybe) developer has a BUDDIE at TCC,IMMMMM,STAY put SHIELA, DIG IN if its costing $10.000 a day,not your fault, maybe someone from TCC will see,HANGON THOUGH tcc you need a BRAIN for this which all 600 do not,my thoughts only. Sunlive Thankyou,10-4 out.


Posted on 16-06-2017 14:11 | By Blogger

Please make sure to mention to the council, that the increase of buses mooted by council, will affect our street as well! They come screaming down the hill, with no concern for residents. Written from another concerned Osprey resident.

Go girl

Posted on 16-06-2017 14:06 | By overit

All a bit mysterious and unfair. At last some action!!