Richelle Staveley and Peter Woods of Woodford Island on the road to their property. Photo Adam Hourigan
Richelle Staveley and Peter Woods of Woodford Island on the road to their property. Photo Adam Hourigan

$60,000 to build a driveway

IMAGINE buying a block of land, applying for a loan and signing a contract with a builder only to find you can't build your house unless you spend $60,000 on the driveway.

As absurd as it sounds this was the situation Peter Woods and his partner Richelle Staveley were faced with when they tried to build their Woodford Island home.

When the couple filed their development application with council, in July last year, they were told by staff the only way they could build was if the property had "suitable road access."

This meant upgrading the road, which is owned by Clarence Valley Council, but the catch was the council was not going to pay to do it and the couple would be left with a $60,000 bill.

"We were really upset and we totally disagreed with what they were saying," Ms Staveley said.

"I actually got quite depressed there for a while but now we're just hoping they're going to give approval on Tuesday."

The road had to be upgraded because it was on council land.

But the road goes nowhere except to the gate of Mr Woods' property.

If someone crashes on the road the council may be legally liable for their injuries and the road's condition could become a serious issue.

It could also become a legal issue if an emergency vehicle was unable to get proper access to the property.

The couple are now making a last ditch appeal to try and get permission to build their home and on Tuesday. Mr Woods made a deputation to the Valley's councillors at a meeting in Maclean.

And the five councillors who sit on the environment planning and works committee decided they would like to see them given consent to build, without paying to upgrade the road.

At this Tuesday's ordinary meeting the Valley's councillors will make the final decision on the application.



GALLERY: Burnt out fire truck

premium_icon GALLERY: Burnt out fire truck

The RFS truck will probably be written off.

"Someone could have been injured or killed"

premium_icon "Someone could have been injured or killed"

An RFS crew sheltered in their truck as the grass fire overcame them

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