Fine of $10,000 for illegal construction work in Neerim South
Baw Baw News By Baw Baw Citizen writers // 19:14, Tuesday 23 October 2012
A NEERIM South man has been ordered by the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court to pay the Baw Baw Shire Council a $10,000 fine for illegal building works.
The man will also have to pay the council $6,603 to cover legal fees for the case, which has been going since 2010.
The illegal works included commencing construction of extensive additions and alterations to a house without a permit and not building in accordance with approved plans.
The man built an enclosed room in a space shown on approved plans as a carport.
In addition to paying the fine, the man must make the building comply with council requirements within 180 days or face the room being demolished.
Baw Baw Shire Council CEO Helen Anstis said in a media release compliance with permits is important for safety and environmental reasons.
“The Building Act and Planning and Environment Act are in place to ensure that any work undertaken is safe, structurally sound and does not damage the environment,” Ms Anstis said.
“The case highlights the importance of following the appropriate channels in obtaining the right permits… before starting any building work and during the construction process.”
Ms Anstis also said there are more cases of illegal building work in Baw Baw under investigation “which are likely to proceed to prosecution.”
The $10,000 figure is not the maximum fine the council can give for unapproved works. The Building Act allows for penalties of up to $70,000 for individuals and the Planning and Environment Act allows penalties of $170,000.
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