Advertisement

Retaining Walls and bad neighbours in Canberra?

By 28 April 2013 9

I have a neighbour in a newly developed estate that has cut into their block of land. That’s fine, so long as you retain the embankment that you cut. This neighbour hasn’t retained the embankment that they cut into, but claims that he is doing something about it (but I doubt that’s true as this has dragged on for months).

I’m very concerned that when the next deluge of rain comes, all our soil will erode into his block.

ACTPLA are probably the relevant authority, but the only information I can find on their site relates to exemptions.

Does anyone know what my rights are in this case? What can I do about this?

Please login to post your comments
9 Responses to Retaining Walls and bad neighbours in Canberra?
#1
miz10:00 am, 28 Apr 13

I too would be interested in who is the authority on managing water overflow from renovation of neighbouring properties. A knock-down-rebuild next to my parents’ home has resulted in a new full-cement driveway abutting their property, which slopes down towards the road with edges up to 30cm higher than ground level. Similar to the OP, it is obvious that a deluge of rain is going to run right across my parents’ front garden. This already happened when painters emptied their painty water at the tap located at the top of the driveway, which, inexplicably, has no drain under it. These are just the latest of a litany of problems. Same building firm as the one who knocked down the duplex in Yarralumla, I might add – Rawson Homes.

It would be good to know which authority can compel redress.

#2
JimCharles12:19 pm, 28 Apr 13

I have friends with a similar issue in Bonner in a brand new house. The backyard slopes back to front, and right to left. The builder put a pathetic drain on the highest part of the garden, so it will catch nothing.
Rainwater floods across the back garden from next door higher up the hill, across their own garden washing the soil away, then into next doors washing their garden away, on and on down the hill.

Over here, backyards in new houses seem to be excluded from “house and build” packages and you have to pay extra for “landscaping”, or you just get left with a patch of soil.
Plot drainage isn’t “landscaping”, it’s minor civil engineering the fabric of a plot so it’s suitable for habitation and this should be done as part of the estate plan so builders have to comply.
Doesn’t ACT have any power to control water run off before they package the plots and sell them off, it seems really irresponsible if they’re encouraging a huge load of independent owners and builders to do what they like with no cohesive plan? Also, surely they want to get this water into the stormwater system so they can do something about looking after it?
If you’ve no oversight of, or no control to make your neighbours discharge stormwater properly, it seems like a nightmare that is occurring repeatedly….but again, it shouldn’t be up to individuals to sort this out when it’s bad planning control governance that’s let it happen.

#3
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd1:49 pm, 28 Apr 13

miz said :

I too would be interested in who is the authority on managing water overflow from renovation of neighbouring properties. A knock-down-rebuild next to my parents’ home has resulted in a new full-cement driveway abutting their property, which slopes down towards the road with edges up to 30cm higher than ground level.

Similar to the OP, it is obvious that a deluge of rain is going to run right across my parents’ front garden. This already happened when painters emptied their painty water at the tap located at the top of the driveway, which, inexplicably, has no drain under it. These are just the latest of a litany of problems. Same building firm as the one who knocked down the duplex in Yarralumla, I might add – Rawson Homes.

It would be good to know which authority can compel redress.

Miz, by any chance are your parents housing govvie hosing tenants as well? If so they don’t really have any right to complain…

#4
Mr Evil1:58 pm, 28 Apr 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

miz said :

I too would be interested in who is the authority on managing water overflow from renovation of neighbouring properties. A knock-down-rebuild next to my parents’ home has resulted in a new full-cement driveway abutting their property, which slopes down towards the road with edges up to 30cm higher than ground level.

Similar to the OP, it is obvious that a deluge of rain is going to run right across my parents’ front garden. This already happened when painters emptied their painty water at the tap located at the top of the driveway, which, inexplicably, has no drain under it. These are just the latest of a litany of problems. Same building firm as the one who knocked down the duplex in Yarralumla, I might add – Rawson Homes.

It would be good to know which authority can compel redress.

Miz, by any chance are your parents housing govvie hosing tenants as well? If so they don’t really have any right to complain…

That’s Gold!

#5
andym4:58 pm, 28 Apr 13

It is my understanding that the general rule is that you cannot interfere with the natural drainage of the water across a boundary. ie you cant build a diversion wall to send storm water into your neighbours yard or vice versa.

#6
andym5:04 pm, 28 Apr 13
#7
aussielyn5:32 pm, 28 Apr 13

You have to compose your concerns in writing and email them to your community council, the planning minister and all your electorate MLAs. Take photos of the site, especially after rain. If the sign lists the certifier and plumber/drainer these should be included in an email to ACTPLA.

Fill out the form on ACTPLA’s website, Controlled Activity Complaint Form, http://www.actpla.act.gov.au/customer_information/industry/gasfitter_prosecuted
The compliance section of ACTPLA is flat out so be patient and persistent. I know one plumber who is flat out rectifying dodgy work.
Exempt developments and the role of certifiers are current hot issues of ISCCC and the ACT Govt. who is embarrassed by the duplex issue in Yarralumla.

On certifiers, check out this decision on ACT:
http://www.acat.act.gov.au/judgment/view/5110/title/construction-occupations-registrar-fekete

If you believe the CTs we are in for a DV on the Building Act that industry and ACTPLA must be working on now.

#8
Sandman8:06 pm, 28 Apr 13

What sort of soil do you have in that area? I’d be more concerned about your fence falling down before your block erodes too much.

From experience those estate blocks usually have a nice thin layer of good soil on top of large piles of building rubble and crap. I’ve done several retaining walls for people who simply had bad drainage in their new houses that resulted in runoff from neighbours yards going through their garages and eroding things away.

Your best bet would be to put a simple sleeper retainer in the ground right at your fence line. Don’t make it so high that all the water runs to one point and then flows across the neighbours yard cause that will probably piss them off. Just make it so it holds your soil back. Perhaps a line of mesh and medium stone at the bottom of the sleepers to allow water to drain out underneath with out taking material with it.

#9
miz10:54 pm, 28 Apr 13

Comic, No. Owned the house since 1968. You really do have an OCD problem, don’t you. You should get that looked at.

Sponsors
RiotACT Proudly Supports
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.