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Check with council before building the kids a cubby

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Check with council before building the kids a cubby

A news report from the Sydney local council of Ryde on 19 January 2004, highlighted the need to lodge a development application before building a cubby house for the kids. A development application covers safety and placement issues when it comes to cubby houses, and knowing the mistakes of others will prevent you from doing the same thing.

A Cubby house in Ford Street, North Ryde, received lots of attention from the media, owing to an order issued by local council of Ryde for its demolition.

Following a complaint received from a concerned neighbour last June claiming a four to five metre cubby house had been “slapped together” in the front yard, Council officers inspected the structure.

Council said the owners were verbally informed of the situation and requested to remove the cubby house but failed to do so.

Resulting from a further complaint in September, Council issued an order to the owners under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act (1979) for the removal or demolition of the illegal structure.

City of Ryde's Group Manager-Environmental Planning, Sue Weatherley appeared on Channel Seven's Today Tonight last week stating the reasons for the written request to the cubby house owners for the demolition or removal of the structure.

“Normally, Ryde Council doesn't take action against kids cubby houses, however in these exceptional circumstances, a two-storey structure overhanging a public footpath could endanger not only innocent pedestrians but the children themselves,” Ms Weatherley said.

"It is an extremely large structure built in and around a tree and the fact that it has been built in the front yard complicates the issue from the point of view of neighbours and the public liability issue with regards to the public footpath.

“Council has to make decisions that will protect its residents.

“In this particular example, officers considered the cubby house to be not only unsafe but both illegal and not complying with local government development standards.

“Unfortunately, Channel Seven's Today Tonight program incorrectly stated that Council had issued a $1.1 million bill to the owners.

“As part of the order, Council informed the owners of the possible maximum penalty of $1.1 million the court may impose, if in fact the court decides to impose a penalty at all.

“However, as the order has not expired, Council is yet to consider what action it will take and has contacted the owners in the hope of avoiding legal action.

Residents proposing to build cubby houses should always check with Council in case a Development Application is required.

“It is simply a case of the community working with Council to ensure standards are met and safety is paramount,” she said.

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