What’s Pink and an Elephant ? – the ACT Planning Authority.

Maelinar 7 January 2008 11

I am currently engaged in attempting to get permission from ACTPLA to build a water tank on the side of my house.

Originally, Mrs Maelinar contacted ACTPLA and was informed that permission may not be necessary – just put the details in an email and we’ll see what we can do kind of thing.

Unfortunately, we were informed that we needed permission (the tank will be visible from the road) – so I began the process of filling out a land development application, as per our advice.

Here’s where the dramas really started…

You would think that water tanks were becoming popular enough to warrant their own section in the document, because frankly I’m as sick of hearing about the water restrictions and dam levels as anybody else around this town. When I finally worked out that the ‘type of development’ for a water tank is single dwelling / outbuilding, I realised the implications:

Site Plan,

Floor Plan,

Elevations, and


This is minimum requirements.

Rightyhoo, time to scan the plans into some kind of graphical editing proggy and do a bit of creative editing…

Leaving the point completely aside that you can buy a prefabricated water tank at bunnings for a moment – there’s going to be a fee. A fee for what I might ask ?

So for the honour of doing something for the environment, within Jon’s plan for Canberra, not only do I get to fork out for the water tank itself, I’ve got to pay to put in an application ?

I’m getting to the point of asking for forgiveness is easier than asking for permission here…

Anybody know how to get through the red-tape a little easier ?

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11 Responses to What’s Pink and an Elephant ? – the ACT Planning Authority.
James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 1:00 pm 14 Dec 07

Thats why my 30,000 l “watertank” is buried in the ground. (Oh, it also has an open top, and a filtering system to ensure that the water stays clean. And, just like in the country, where there are dams, the kids can jump into it. Of course, it holds ‘non-potable’ water….

Thumper Thumper 11:46 am 14 Dec 07

Unapproved structures are generally dealt with by asking the buyer if they want it, and then telling them that you’ll tear it down if they don’t.

Everyone happy, no problem.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 11:03 am 14 Dec 07

Unapproved stuff around the house cant be that much of an issue when selling your place – I remember being at an auction in Lyneham a couple of years ago. Just before bidding started the real estate agent advised the gathered crowd that he was obliged to let everyone know that the deck attached to the house and the car-port were not approved structures. There was a momements silence and then some guy up the back asked if he could start the bidding at $600,000 …

Neocom Neocom 8:19 am 14 Dec 07

Don’t seek permission. But you might want to change to a more traditional style tank. A pink one shaped like an elephant may attract negative responses from your neighbours.

Thumper Thumper 8:09 am 14 Dec 07

And don’t, what ever you do, ask for the rebate.

It’ll come back and bite you over the years.

I have to agree, it makes all this water conservation a mockery…

Pandy Pandy 8:08 am 14 Dec 07

You know if the conveyancing solicitor played those games, I would raise my price. Solicitors are cnuts.

tybreaker tybreaker 7:46 am 14 Dec 07

Bypassing it sounds like it would remove the pain now but if you’d then need to deal with it quickly because you need to sell your house in the future, would you really want to add that pain to the stress of the house sale? Now is pain with plenty of time but then would be pain with limited time – plus the prospective owner may not pay so well when he learns of the problem via his conveyancing solicitor.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 el ......VNBerlinaV8 7:14 am 14 Dec 07

Anybody know how to get through the red-tape a little easier ?

Bypass it.

Is there anywhere less visible the tank can be installed?

EtFb EtFb 11:43 pm 13 Dec 07

Shiny – thanks for the warning. We’ll remember not to ask anyone’s permission before we get our tank(s). The nanny state can go hang.

jemmy jemmy 10:56 pm 13 Dec 07

Cheapest tanks I’ve found locally:

Pandy Pandy 10:50 pm 13 Dec 07

Don’t ask for permission!

If the neighbours ask just say yes you got permission.

When you sell the house, move the water tank, or get rid of it.

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