READY….SET…..

19 09 2012

We got a phone call today from our Metricon CSC, Megan, to give us some great news, wait for it………we have a site RE(START) DATE – Thursday 27.09.2012!! That’s right, we will have a start by the end of next week!!

Great job from the folks at Metricon to get a response and a date on a site start quickly. Let’s hope it goes according to plan and no major issues from here onwards and we get some solid progress before Christmas.

Now when everyone asks “how’s things going with the house?” we can now provide a progress update rather than just saying “we’re still waiting for Metricon and the council to sort out the pipe”.

Easement back on the title

Today we also received a copy of the title with the easement back on the title as per the original creation.  A dashed line (cirecled in red) went missing in action at some stage between 1959 and 2011.  So when we did all our house designs and initial permit approvals, an easement was not considered.

Here’s something that made us laugh – when we read the title, we saw the following regarding the easement:

“…[we] give and grant unto the said [council] the full and free right and liberty to and for them their servants, agents, contractors and workmen at all times hereafter to enter and reenter upon and to pass and repass for all or any of the purpose hereinafter mentioned and either with or without horses or other animals carts or other carriages through over and along the land….”

Besides being a long sentence, there’s no mention of motorised vehicles or equipment.  So does that mean we can refuse entry if they don’t come with horses or carriages?  🙂

It will be 133 days (4.5 months) delay when site re(starts) next week.  In the end, the cause of all of this is a dotted line missing from the title!!!!!!!

C&K

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We have council approval – Finally!!!!

18 09 2012

Today marks a very big step forward in our building project. After months of waiting, phone calls, emails and frustration, we finally received notification from council that we have approval to commence building works on site. Yay!!!!

The issue of the pipe on our block has been resolved. The easement that was not listed on our title actually does exist, it just went missing in action a some stage between 1959 and 2011. An amendment has been made by the land titles office to reinstate the easement on title. Obviously we would have preferred not to have had an easement on title at all, but at least we didn’t have to get into a situation with the council where we were arguing over whose responsibility it was to have the easement created.

As a result of the easement, we have had to move the house 600mm closer to the south boundary which has meant that we have had to reduce the width of the garage. We had originally added an extension to the width of the garage so now we are back to a standard width. Not ideal but in the whole scheme of things bearable. The retaining wall on the north boundary will be constructed 1.4m in from the fence line rather than up against the fence line so we will lose the use of the land in that space, although its nothing that a nice garden won’t resolve. All in all, we can cope with the changes we have had to make in order to get back on site.

It has been over 4 months since the pipe issue caused site works to be suspended.  Now it is over to Metricon to arrange all of the details for construction to begin again.  We are hoping that the construction phase runs smoother than this whole pipe saga.  Here’s to calmer waters.

C&K





Flip flop

31 07 2012

Flip flops is the American version of what we call thongs.  We went googling to look for an image of thongs and got the American version which wasn’t really appropriate for this blog.  eeek.  Flip flop is what the council seems to be doing.

We had a very good chat with Metricon’s Operations Manager, Cameron on site today to discuss what options we have to progress Our Nolan.  During our chat Cameron mentioned he got an email this morning from the council stating they are now amenable to allowing the house move closer to the neighbour on the south side.  This would allow us to move the house further away from the pipe and the implied easement.  If this can be done, then this is great news!!!  This would be the best option to keep our design largely intact.  As our garage wall is already right on the fence line, in order to make this solution work we suggested to Metricon that we were happy to move the garage into the entrance hallway (the entrance is huge) rather than lose any width to the garage.

The council has put a condition on this approach by stating that they would turn the implied easement into a prescriptive easement.  We will need to look into what this implies, but we suspect the implications would be similar.  An easement is an easement.  Or is it?  If anyone knows the difference and in particular the legal implications, please feel free to let us know.

It was really good to chat with Cameron and he spent some time to explain the situation and what has been happening.  The council want to resolve this issue by the end of the week so we are now looking forward to seeing the revised plans from Metricon soon.  We just hope the council doesn’t change their minds and flip flop again.

C&K





Implied Easement on our block, further delays and more frustration (grrrr)

28 07 2012

Yesterday we were informed by our Customer Service Manager, Nick via email that the council has rejected the Metricon proposal to move the retaining wall to deal with the underwater pipe that is on our block.

Since end of May/early June,  Metricon have worked on a revised engineering plan and on Wednesday they met with the council – we were hopeful of a positive outcome but that was dashed yesterday.

We would have liked to speak to Nick about the outcome and options moving forward yesterday (we were dissapointed we didn’t get a phone call with the news in person).  From the email the council stated:

Based on my calculations from all the drawings the placement of the retaining wall will impact on the existing Council asset.

I have also confirmed that the location of the dwelling cannot be moved further south which also makes things more difficult.

As we have previously discussed there is no easement on the property, however implied easements rights now come into place in this situation.

The issue with the pipe has been very frustrating on a number of fronts.  The council didn’t provide any notice of the pipe to Metricon when the builder originally requested the documentation.  As a result the plans and design were based on information of not having the pipe.  It has also been very frustating to take so long to produce the revised engineering plans.

The problem of the pipe and implied easement is the principle issue which to an extent is out of our control, the second issue, which is more in our (or Metricon’s) control is the process of how it has being resolved and how long it has taken.  We will now go through the weekend very irritated and sad that our dream home is nowhere near starting.  The whole process is very draining (pardon the pun).

By the numbers, as of today it has been:

  • 271 days (9 months) since we signed to commence the preliminary works with Metricon.
  • 128 days (4 months) since we signed the final contract with Metricon.
  • 72 days (10 weeks) since stopping site scrape works.
  • 46 days for Metricon to produce the revised retaining wall engineering plans.
  • 2 days for the council to reject the revised retaining wall engineering plans.
  • Countless days of dissapointment and frustration with the process of resolving the issue.

C&K