Right to build family home lapses leaving family shocked and dismayed

Cameron and Miranda Hipwell and their three children would love to be in the midst of building their family home at Sunnyside Lane just a few kilometres from town.

Their six acres property, that they bought in 2013, had a building entitlement when they purchased it however, unbeknownst to the couple they did not know that the entitlement had a strict time limit on it and they had to have approval to build by September 2014.

Why the block had this ‘sunset’ clause was due to a change in the Local Environment Plan (LEP) adopted by Council the year of their purchase.So now the couple have a block of land which they cannot build on– which means the value of the land has plummeted. It is not an easy time for them as they try and find a solution to their future housing as this episode has been financially devastating.

What message can come from their situation? Anyone contemplating buying a block of land, especially one without a home, should be very vigilant prior to purchase. The adage buyer beware comes to mind.

As conveyancing moves completely online and pressures to finalise the sale mount that need for vigilance is even more important. Also perhaps talk to the Council about the land before signing the contract to ascertain if any planning changes may have impacts.  Taking those extra steps and extra time may prove beneficial in the long run.

And so we move onto the issue of our public roads being sold off to mining companies and not just any road but one that scheduled in 1833. We are talking about Wallaby Scrub Road – now located right in the middle of an approved open cut.

So much of our heritage, today appears to be worthless to this State Government, just look at the proposals to destroy some of our most prized heritage buildings in Parramatta. 

Why would they care about a 5.99km road near Singleton if buildings on the State Heritage Register are set to be destroyed.

One of the worst aspects of this whole debacle was the fact that the highest court in NSW upheld the original Land and Environment Court’s Justice Preston ruling that would have protected Wallaby Scrub Road and the neighbouring Saddle Riddle from being destroyed to appease overseas mining interests. No justice in the latest news from the Minister for Lands and Forestry regarding the closure of Wallaby Scrub Road.