Mistakes in Northern Beaches Council’s water main easement halt home construction for mother: Jennifer Peace

How a government error ruined the life of a young mother after she was banned from building a home for her children on her OWN land

  • Jennifer Peace was financially and emotionally devastated by a council failure
  • A small piece of land in Manly was bought to build a house for her and her daughters
  • She was told prior to purchase that there were no “encumbrances” or “servitudes.”
  • When she applied for planning permission, she was told she could not build
  • This is due to the fact that there are sewage pipes on the land, a fault she says lies on the council

A local council mishap has left a woman financially and emotionally ruined after she was denied the right to build on her property.

Jennifer Peace bought a small piece of land in Manly on Sydney’s Northern Beaches where she planned to build a house for herself and her two young daughters, but the council blocked the move, saying she could not start construction because of rainwater pipes .

Five years ago – prior to purchasing the property – both she and her solicitors checked with Northern Beaches Council if there were any problems or relief that would prevent their construction and were assured there were no problems.

But it was only after she had submitted the planning application for her dream house that she became aware of the pipes.

“I know they made a mistake and the price I paid is much more than just financial, it’s devastated me emotionally, I’m not sleeping and my kids have grown up without a home,” Ms Peace told A Current affair.

A mistake in advice has driven a woman into financial ruin. Jennifer Peace (pictured) bought a small piece of land on the northern beaches, only to be told she couldn't build on it due to rainwater pipes

A mistake in advice has driven a woman into financial ruin. Jennifer Peace (pictured) bought a small piece of land on the northern beaches, only to be told she couldn’t build on it due to rainwater pipes

What is an easement?

An easement is a portion of land recorded on a title deed that gives the government the right to use a person’s land for a specific purpose.

An example is a shared driveway.

There are also certain legal easements that are not recorded in your title, such as: B. Power or telephone lines or drainage easements.

Now the land block is overgrown and she suffers financial hardship as mortgage payments and the ongoing dispute with the council take their toll.

Her attorney, Arthur Carney, said it was the worst case he had seen in the business in 40 years.

“She did everything right before she bought it, and then suddenly (the) Council dug up a long-lost document,” Carney said.

Northern Beaches Council said they had asked Ms Peace to apply for compensation for removing and redirecting the pipes, but Ms Peace said the costs were huge and even then she had no guarantee she would be reimbursed for the work.

“They could very well refuse the compensation claim, and they also want to take about 20 percent of my land as an easement,” Ms. Peace said.

The council said in a statement that it had done everything in its power to help Ms Peace and on several occasions encouraged her to file a claim for damages to cover the cost of laying the storm water pipe.

Peace:

Frieden: “I know they made a mistake and the price I paid is much higher than financially. It destroyed me emotionally, I don’t sleep and my children grew up without a home.”

A frustrated Ms. Peace said the council is currently holding $120,000 of her money as pledge for its own pipes, which she claims the council is asking to be removed and replaced.

According to Ms Peace, the council expects her to remove and replace the pipes and then provide receipts before filing a claim for compensation.

She insists the council misdivided the land, and has writing at the time of purchase that the land had no “encumbrances or easements,” and she doesn’t have $100,000 to fix the council’s mistake.

Ms. Peace said that in addition to everything the council has asked for, 20 percent of her land will be returned to the council as a new easement with no financial compensation.

This would push the block size below 250 square meters – the legal minimum subdivision size in NSW – meaning subdivision is no longer permitted.

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11160659/Northern-Beaches-Council-waterpipe-easement-blunder-stops-mother-building-home-Jennifer-Peace.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Mistakes in Northern Beaches Council’s water main easement halt home construction for mother: Jennifer Peace

Emma Colton

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