All Topics / General Property / Nightmare subdivision!!

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  • Profile photo of AmandaBSAmandaBS
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    @amandabs
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 549

    I've just finished reading an article in the Aug 2007 edition of API about a couples nightmare subdivision, which hit close to home.  We too have out own sorry tale, so here goes…..

    In October, 2004, yes almost 3 years ago, we purchased a 10acre block zoned Res "A" and set about lodging a DA.  I must admit now that we were not prepared for the nightmare ahead.  The block is a strange shape, kind of like the letter "L" with two access points, so the plan was to subdivide off the tail end of the "L" into 2 large allotments, and keep the balance for our new "dream home".  Well I'm still dreaming almost 3 years later…….

    The DA was prepared and submitted but before it got approved Peter Beattie brought in the SE Qld plan which required that all Res "A" land must be maximised. Our 2 large allotment was rejected so the plans were done again with 6 lots.  Endless reports followed, sound reports, water pressure, sewerage flow etc.   etc… and the months ticked by……

    The top part of the "L" is also a dead end road which will also be our new driveway entrance, however because we lodged the DA Council then wanted us to build a round ashphalt cul-de sac end!!  The issue they had was we needed to provide a turn-a-round area for the Refuse trucks, even though they have turned as is for the last 50 years!!  Many meetings and letters later and it was finally agreed between our Civil Engineer & Council to allow us to build an all weather surface turning area shaped like a "T" as an easement.  So the civil work commenced Dec 2006, then Council did a backflip saying they had no recollection of the surface being agreed to as "all weather" and we needed to put down ashphalt…..more delays & many angry phone calls later the work was done.  So with the civil work completed we arranged the final works inspection, and you guessed Council was a no show, but Ipswich Water was present and approved the connection of the sewer.  Final title plans were prepared and submitted and we waited…..and waited, after 8 weeks we discovered our file was in the too hard basket again!!  Although Ipswich Water had approved and connected the sewer the Development section of the Council had not first given their approval so the sewer had never gone "on maintenance".

    Then last week was it for me, when the legal powers that be in Council rejected our title plans due to the easement, despite this being approved on the Operational Works.  Apparently their are legal issues of the Refuse trucks and general traffic using our turnaround area, so now we must give up the land as road reserve, and you guessed it the title plans must be redrawn!!

    My lesson from this is that we'll never again subdivide a vacant block of land as the holding costs are just too high when things go wrong.

    That's my nightmare perhaps others can share their horror story too.

    Profile photo of mtajimmtajim
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    @mtajim
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 17

    Thats really a nightmare . I will be careful  in doing that in future . I also need to divide the property and i will keep that in mind.

    Profile photo of HandyAndy888HandyAndy888
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    @handyandy888
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 160

    Wow…. bloody councils…stories like these have stopped me from even considering subdivisions…

    Profile photo of MillyMilly
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    @milly
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 288

    Yes it's a terrible sstory  you tell Amanda and certainly not an isolated case.  Ive always been nervous at the thought of building a house…let alone a housing development.

    Listening to Anna Bligh on 4QR the other day  saying how  the state govt was going to fast track the release of land in SEQ and assist developers thro the council redtape to establish the badly needed housing.  Well they are going to have to ensure that local councils are on side. and amalgamating many of them isn't going to put smiles on many councilours faces.

    The state govt have been talking and talking about 'affordable housing '  as long as the water crisis.  Why does it always have to be at crisis point before we see any action?

    Profile photo of AmandaBSAmandaBS
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    @amandabs
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 549

    Couldn't agree more Milly.
    More drama's yesterday now that the area is going to be road reserve Council has done another backflip wanting more land at the end of the Street so that they can build a 9m culdesac as per the original DA later if they choose!!  I'm furious about this as the Chief Engineer approved the "T" turn and allowed the Operational Works drawings through which supersedes the DA.  We havn't seen the end of this yet!!

    Profile photo of Jon ChownJon Chown
    Member
    @jon-chown
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 254

    Wow!!!   What an interesting topic and one which is close to my heart.   Given the experience that has been expressed here, perhaps now some people may now understand the plight of the  (Mungrel Millionaire) Developers.   When I began selling development sites in the early 90's my Developer clients could obtain a DA (Development Approval) in 90 days, it now takes our brilliant educated council almost 2 years to achieve the same result.

    Anyone who has ever had to work with a Council will know that they do not employ anyone who is able to make a decision on thier own accord.   All decisions must be made by someone higher up and unfortunately the person higher up has just been promoted due to their incompetence and inability to make a decision.

    It is high time that our over educated over paid Town Planners are taken to task by the rate payers for their total lack of ability to plan a town and do anything more than fix bandaids to previously poor town planning decisions.   If I had 10 pages I could relate so many horror stories that your head would spin – Amandas frustration is not isolated, I guess her brown paper bag was just not big enough.

    Oh! did I mention don't get me started on Town Planning.

    Jon

    Profile photo of AmandaBSAmandaBS
    Participant
    @amandabs
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 549

    Just keeping you all up to date we have reached an agreement today with Council that the end of the road will be squared off but will contain the new "T" turn.  This will mean the surveyor will be needed back on site to peg it out again but its better than a rounded culdesac which would cut off any further development.  We'll be retaining 7 acres for our new home but in years to come we at least have the option to develop the site further.

    …Thank you Jon for your comments.  I do acknowledge that we are not alone in our frustration, but the purpose of the post is for those that perhaps think that subdivision is a quick and easy $$$.  Think again!!!

    Profile photo of MysteryMystery
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    @mystery
    Join Date: 2006
    Post Count: 87

    AmandaBS & Jon,

    I totally agree with Jon …. had some horror dealings with local town planners when I was building PPOR.

    AmandaBS … What a nightmare for you …. I recently bought a property in Redbank Plains on 800m2 corner block …. council gave verbal approval for sub-dividing 400m2 (spoke to town planner), but I'm not looking forward to starting the sub-division process after your story.

    Martin

    Profile photo of jtwjtw
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    @jtw
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 57

    Amanda,
    I can symphathise with you on the frustration levels involved in developing. I have just completed a small sub division (3 blocks) and I have learnt a heap. In balance the rewards have been exceptionally good.  I am now undertaking a 100 lot subdivsion and I am applying my experience from last time so I hope the process will be easier.  I found it is not the local council that is the problem. I sincerely believe it is the tortured process under the Intergrated Planning Act (Qld) and the SEQ regional plan that are making the council staff hamstrung. I note that nearly all states have similiar legislation and the same problems around Australia with gaining council approval.  The current housing affordability crisis in large part can be sheeted home to the various State governments around OZ, that seem to be clones when it comes to development policy. In QLD the council amalgamation process will add about 10-15% to the cost of a block in my opinion. I base this on extended holding costs associated with getting approval, increased council fees /charges /levies and the log jam it will create in getting anything done. I will also factor in a premium on land dev costs for developer frustration compensation.  Anyway, I had to let go of some steam and there you have it.   Let us all know when you have the sealed and registered plans back.  Congrats on having a go.
    JTW

    Profile photo of AmandaBSAmandaBS
    Participant
    @amandabs
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 549

    Hi JTW,

    You're game…I don't think we could go through this again with vacant land.  We have others on the go with existing houses which helps with the cashflow, but as all the costs are capitalised on the vacant land its been a huge financial strain. 
    Will keep this thread going until we have the plans in our hands!!

    Profile photo of AmandaBSAmandaBS
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    @amandabs
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 549

    Surveyor has been out and re-pegged the area on 23/08/2007.

    Profile photo of RhettusRhettus
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    @rhettus
    Join Date: 2013
    Post Count: 7

    Hey Amanda,
    9 years on now. did you build your dream home?
    Is this all just history now?

    Profile photo of Corey BattCorey Batt
    Participant
    @cjaysa
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 1,010

    I’d be surprised if she’s still reading all the threads on the forum 9 years later. :)

    Corey Batt | Precision Funding
    http://www.precisionfunding.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Investment Focused Finance Strategist - servicing Australia-wide

    Profile photo of RhettusRhettus
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    @rhettus
    Join Date: 2013
    Post Count: 7

    Worth a shot :-)

    Profile photo of Tony BurnettTony Burnett
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    @tonyburnett
    Join Date: 2016
    Post Count: 17

    I can also sympathize with you on the frustration levels involved in developing……….Councils are a never ending nightmare to deal with, full of contradictions and incompetence at best, not to and holding stuff up for no good reason except maybe the right person didn’t receive his brown paper bag.

    I have done several sub divisions and found it extraordinary that the State government still has not fixed any of our councils………almost feels like our state governments like to use the councils as a buffer to save their pathetic jobs.

    Why do we need all these levels of government?

    Profile photo of Colin RiceColin Rice
    Participant
    @fms
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 338

    Why do we need all these levels of government?

    I heard a stat the other day the that 70-90% of revenue collected is used to administrate government (buildings, wages, cars, pensions etc.) so only 10-30% is used for its intended purpose being roads, hospitals, education, law enforcement etc.

    Time we all revolted and self governed!

    Colin Rice | CDR Finance
    http://cdrfinance.com.au/
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Perth Based Mortgage Broker - Investment Property Finance Specialist | E: [email protected]

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