Building a retaining wall on Access and Maintenance easement for Caddens

John Andrew Balandra made this Government Information (Public Access) request to Penrith City Council

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John Andrew Balandra

Dear Penrith City Council,

We are building a house on sloped block in Caddens, NSW (2747). It is almost completed and the handover will be in three weeks.

Address: Lot 695 No. 155. O'Connell street, Caddens
DP: 1320585

Our lot is burdened by a 900 mm wide access and maintenance easement from the fence line boundary on the right-hand side. Our right-hand neighbor (lot 694) built their garage on the boundary. Both our plans were compliant and went through different private certifier approvals provided by our individual builders. Our construction also started at almost the same time.

Between my neighbour's garage and house wall, I have 450 mm of land to retain. My side access is 1350 mm wide for which 900 mm of it is an easement. My retaining wall design has a 1:1 offset from the slab because, according to our engineer, the piers under those slabs only carry about half the weight of the structure in residential houses. So there is still load pushing against the retaining walls from the house if it is within a 1:1 zone of influence. This means that our wall will have to be 450mm offset from the fenceline which is encroaching the easement. I cannot build it outside the easement as remaining area outside the easement is just 450 mm - it is not enough for the minimum 900 mm side access for my land size.

I have consulted my issue with two Council surveyors and I was told that my DA (design) won't be approved because of the easement restrictions. Is this correct? Are there any reconsiderations that can be made regarding my case - in this case, should I proceed lodging my DA with my current design? If not, could you please suggest a practical way forward? Our neighbour has already occupied their house for 2 weeks now and has signed off our retaining wall design. But we are both very worried about possible structural damages that may occur if the retaining wall does not get built soon.

Yours faithfully,

John Andrew Balandra

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