25 March 2010

Comment or Objection on house extension

| dinkyPhuong
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I have received a public notification letter from ACTPLA about my neighbours house extension. The proposed extension roof is a colorbond roof, so its appearance would not be consistent with the existing tile roof. Even though the colorbond roof is mostly screened by parapet walls, and cannot be seen from my property and its not a heritage area. Would this colorbond roof compromise our neighbourhood characteristics?

Is it a fairly and reasonably issue to submit an objection to the proposed development?

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Its actually Grey… I drive past it most days…

Gungahlin Al said :

The only limitation I can recall on colourbond roofing is that highly reflective colours like white are not allowed due to glare potential. The lightest colour allowed from the stock range is “Dune” – the colour of our roof (not coincidentally).

What colour is this roof? Looks pretty white to me.

I don’t think this post was for real. It is too trivial and possibly a sarcastic attempt to discredit serious heritage matters.

Do you think we scared him/her off?

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Perhaps the poster is the one with the development application and has received an objection from a neighbour.

I wondered the same thing.

luther_bendross3:59 pm 26 Mar 10

Woody Man: This also crossed my mind… and either way I stand by what I said.

Woody Mann-Caruso3:17 pm 26 Mar 10

Perhaps the poster is the one with the development application and has received an objection from a neighbour.

luther_bendross2:23 pm 26 Mar 10

Ha lolz. Knock yourself out. If you object to something then you’re well within your rights to put that on paper. However, considering your conviction isn’t strong enough to submit it without first consulting a bunch of strangers, then I’d suggest your basis for objecting isn’t going to hold much water when received by council.

If you really object so strongly to something in a non-heritage that you cannot see and is providing shelter for your neighbours, then submit twenty. Please keep RA updated.

Gungahlin Al1:11 pm 26 Mar 10

A common mistake many people make when making a submission on a DA is to get into things that are not “up for discussion”. Just because a DA is required, and submissions can be lodged, does not necessarily mean that the approval itself is being questioned, or that all aspects of the development are in question.

The Territory Plan has Code and Merit assessment tracks. If your DA can satisfy everything in the Code track, (dependent on certain other factors I won’t get into here – lunch time isn’t long enough) then a DA notification may not be needed at all. Indeed a DA may not be needed if the “development” is either Exempt or can be assessed by a private certifier.

But if something in the development does not meet the “prescriptive” rule of the Code track, then the proponent needs to demonstrate how it instead meets the “performance” requirements of the broader Merit track, which instead has statements of intent rather than fixed rules. But importantly, it is only this merit track issue that you can raise a concern on. Everything else that satisfies the Code rules is ‘as of right’ and cannot be contested. E.g. if the Plan says you can have an extension, but that it can’t go closer than 2m from a boundary, but the DA shows 1.4m then your submission can only argue that it should not be allowed that close to the boundary, not that the extension should be prohibited.

Having a Merit option allows a proponent to come up with innovative solutions to design issues that may otherwise be ruled out under Code. I was able, for example, to demonstrate that while my home’s back yard setback was slightly less than the 6m Code requirement, the yard was some 4 times longer than the minimum requirement in that dimension, plus there was no negative impact caused by the reduction – a net positive for overall design and for the neighbour. Merit track may also be misused too, but that is why there is notification…

So in this instance, with heritage not an issue, and without diving back into the Territory Plan, I recall that the roofing material is not up for grabs. I hate concrete tiles on roofs, but I can’t stop anyone who wants to use them. Conversely for corro. The only limitation I can recall on colourbond roofing is that highly reflective colours like white are not allowed due to glare potential. The lightest colour allowed from the stock range is “Dune” – the colour of our roof (not coincidentally).

…and cannot be seen from my property

Problem solved.

As CK said, hold your fire until a real neighbourhood problem comes along.

The title of the piece is “Comment or Objection on house extension“, but the objection raised is regarding the roof and its perceived inconsistency with the rest of the house and “neighborhood characteristics”, even though it can’t be seen/is obscured.

The automatic series of “NO” responses indicates the extent to which this is a bit of a reach as far as complaints go.

But why reach?

Hazarding a guess, dinkyPhuong, is there something else about the house extension you object to? Are you already in a dispute with this neighbor and road-testing ways to mess with them?

we actually changed the size of two windows, knocked out a small non load bearing wall, got rid of an external door and one internal one and also removed the little concrete stairs leading up to that external door. the one thing that we were advised to get rubber stamped was the change to the exterior appearance.
how big of a change did you make? replacing one door with another one the same size isn’t really a change worthy of planning approval because it will still match the blueprint which is all that matters.

la mente torbida12:15 pm 26 Mar 10

@Barking Toad


hang on – you have to get development approval for changing windows and doors????
I’ve just replaced mine, should I have done a DA?

Be mindful also that submitting an objection is not an anonymous process and the applicant of the approval will receive copies of all objections submitted.

If you need to ask other people their opinion, then the answer is a firm “no”. Only you can come to the conclusion to submit an objection and only you can build the arguments surrounding why you object.

If you can’t see it from your property and it’s not a heritage area, then it has no impact on you or your property and to put in an objection would be incredibly petty, imo

When I did some minor renovations (changed the windows and removed an exterior door) I just went to the neighbours with the paperwork and asked them if they would be happy to sign off. It gave them the opportunity to ask any questions, let me explain it more clearly, everyone was happy. This whole sending a letter thing is a bit more difficult and confusing.

You’re allowed to have concerns over what colour it will be, whether it will be a funky shape or whatever, so just go over there with some bikkies and find out what’s going on. Take vegan and gluten free bikkies from the health food shop in case they are allergic to something. 🙂

barking toad9:21 am 26 Mar 10

No & No

Please don’t waste bandwidth

No doesn’t seem fair, given you won’t see it particularly. Let your neighbours do their thing. Think of it this way: they are probably going to renovate when they do the extension – that pushes up the value of their property – and thereby the value of yours.
AND there will be no neighbourly disputes. Noone wins, its just horrible.
Good luck!

Sorry, I don’t think it is reasonable or fair to contest this. It might be a different story if your neighbours were planning an extension that seriously effected your property (ie blocking a view or sunlight) but they are suggesting a colourbond roof instead of tile – not really on the highest list of things for you to be worried about. The question I would ask of you, is if you were buying your house again, and your neighbours extension with colourbond roof was already in place, would this part of the extension put you off purchasing your house. Probably not is the answer I think you will find.

This question, however, does highlight how ridiculous the planning laws in this fair city of ours are – if you cannot see it from the neighouring property and it is not in a heritage area, then why is this going to the neighbours for approval? Surely this could have been picked up at the submission stage of the planning process avoiding the need for extra paperwork and delays in the neighbours extension? Hang on a minute, that would however require ACTPLA to make proper, common sense decisions about these sorts of things, and of course uphold and consistently apply them to building works…

Is it a fairly and reasonably issue to submit an objection to the proposed development?

I would say yes, but at the same time be sad if the body who reviews said objections rejected it on the basis of what sounds like a stupid complaint.

If you care, why don’t offer to pay the difference to make it tiled?

Clown Killer9:52 pm 25 Mar 10

No. Keep in mind that you have legitimate rights to what happens on your lease but limited influence on what happens outside of the land you lease. Things like views, outlooks, street-scapes are fairly ambiguous. You’ll have limited ability to influence impacts on any of these. Best keep your powder dry for a real issue.

“Would this colorbond roof compromise our neighbourhood characteristics?”

Given that we don’t know where you live and have never seen your neighbourhood, it would be something that you need to ask yourself?

The only possible valid reason to object (and ACTPLA to take serious consideration) would be if the colour of the roof was some outlandish extreme colour (fluro pink?). But objecting for the hell of it seems rediculous. But then we do live in a city of NIMBYs.

lets keep the snarky comments to a minimum, it was an honest question

OpenYourMind8:37 pm 25 Mar 10

There is nothing worse than starting a war with your neighbours. It’s a war you will never, ever win.

you should ask yourself why you care about what colour your neighbours roof is

georgesgenitals7:50 pm 25 Mar 10

Don’t be a pratt. Unless the neighbours are actually doing something that hurts you or looks terrible, let them go. Then, when you want to do something to your house one day they’ll have no reason to be pratts back and put in a frivolous objection (which is what you seem to be referring to).

Woody Mann-Caruso said :


Definitely +1

If it doesn’t impact on you, then pull your head in.

No I don’t believe it is reasonable. I think it would be quite petty and rude to put in an objection.

It’s different if they’re doing renovations that will actually impact upon your house, e.g. obstruct a view. But just painting the roof? Just let them go ahead and do what they want.

Woody Mann-Caruso6:29 pm 25 Mar 10


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