Friday, 20 February 2009

Up For The Challenge

Not a lot of happy news I'm afraid, so if you're feeling sensitive, time to turn away now ;-) I know I said I'd include the word "rant" in the title, but it didn't seem to fit.

We received our DA for the shed on Wednesday.

The first question that needed to be asked was, why was it approved at all? Keep in mind the DA specifically requested a zincalume shed. A clause in the DA approval specified that our zincalume shed needed to be clad in "colorbond type material" to meet council requirements. Yer what? A quick laugh and a bit of gloss and we are assured this clause will be struck and the DA re-issued.

Hold on a moment. What about the three thousand odd dollars for signs for the road, which was reduced to under one thousand as a result of an amendment issued by council? How did the big number sneak back in there? I'm afraid we don't have the paperwork that we sent you on hand. We'll have to look into it.

And the access that needs to be determined in consultation with council, which, strangely, was determined in consultation with council some time ago, and built already? Ahhh, sorry, don't know nuffin about that, we will need to investigate and get back to you.

Six weeks of investigation and they seem to have spent most of that time avoiding all of the information about what has already happened!

But wait, there's more! We haven't even reached the bad news yet...

It seems that in order to build anything on a block of land you need to have council approved access to that block, otherwise you're considered to be accessing the block illegally. Council have taken the laneway and entered it into their registers as "their road", but it is still open to the neighbour's paddock, and blocked by a gateway, which makes it not a road, in fact it's a Clayton's road. The road you have when you're not having a road.

So before we can build the shed we have sitting quietly rusting in the paddock we need to build an intersection and install our stock grates so the neighbour doesn't have to have his paddock fenced off from the laneway. Cost to build a shed? Priceless!! We have yet to see our certifier, who may allow us to build the shed but not put anything in it until the road is done, but I may be clutching at straws there. Sadly, steel materials left stacked in less than ideal conditions rot a lot faster than they do when built into a proper structure. Time is not on our side there.

So over the last two days we've been in a doldrums, and a state of flux over all our dreams for the future. Where do we find over 10k (moderately educated guess until we get a real quote from council) to fix that road? If it's going to take a year or two to save that cash, how does that affect all our other projects? Are we looking at being 10 years away from moving out there? Will I be 45 before we can even take up residence? Or closer to 50 even? Are we going to need to go (further) into debt to build roads and houses so we can get out there whilst we are in the prime of our lives?

Do we abandon the block, sell it for what we paid for it, count the expenses to date as lessons learned, and work on purchasing something established, with, at the very least, a real road out the front? Would anyone buy that block of land given the need to build that intersection and then the house we've picked out? (offers welcome in the comments ;-) )

I believe that the universe conspires to assist us in our endeavours, but I am left now wondering whether she is trying to give us a different message, or whether we are being challenged to test our fortitude. At this point, we must await further signs to clarify the issue, and shall have to muddle on until then. We are up for the challenge without a doubt, but we don't want to be swimming against the current if we're supposed to be downstream somewhere...


The Duck Herder said...

sheesh! If it wasnt so awefull and traumatic, it would be funny!

All you can do is trust your gut, slow down, don't rush and let go. Try and trust that if it is meant to be, the universe will support you. Remember that nature always looks for the path of least resistance- whatever the hell that means.

Doesnt make it easy though!

Oh, and remember to breath!

best wishes.


Geoff said...

Thanks Duckie!

Bron said...

Great advice from the Duck Herder... Hope everything is resolved before too much longer and remember with ownwer building - triple the time you had allowed for a project and double the cost and you are probably a bit closer to a realisitic result.

Geoff said...

Thanks Bron. We've had a bit of a breakthrough on the plans for the intersection of laneways that need to be fixed up, which may allow us to proceed sooner than we thought.

That "double the time" part still has us considering getting a builder in to do it. We'd both like to be out there sooner rather than later, we aren't getting any younger ;-)

Anonymous said...

G'Day Geoff,

We had exactly the same situation here on the croft. DA approved so we built - end of story - thats all you need -sack the certifier - all you need to do is the on-line home builder license if you plan on using it as a residence! We did - we did no study just had the booklet open before us as we did it. Anne read and I typed!!

The road access was approved on the final inspection.. Don't get too deep with these guys, everything is done in stages - so don't jump too far ahead!!

Geoff said...

Hi Solcroft,

Thanks for the advice. We wont be sacking the certifier, he's the one that's been most helpful through this, and has never created any issues for us, indeed he's the one that helps solve them!

The difficult part at the moment is getting council to tell us what they want. They seem happy for us to keep paying for DA modifications until we guess what they want... We will get there in the end though.