Toowoomba Regional Council waged a 10-month battle over the legality of a young child's cubby house in East Toowoomba.
Toowoomba Regional Council waged a 10-month battle over the legality of a young child's cubby house in East Toowoomba. Bev Lacey

Council fails in 10-month battle to demolish cubby

TOOWOOMBA Regional Council has waged a 10-month battle at ratepayer's expense against an East Toowoomba family in a bid to have them remove a cubby house they had built for their young daughter.

The petty dispute instigated by council has caused much mirth and laughter in building circles in Brisbane, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.

At the centre of the dispute is a cubby house which measures approximately 2.5 square metres and includes a small veranda.

The cubby house, located on a property in Campbell Street, has been built against the boundary fence and one metre of wall and roofing can be seen above the fence line.

Things turned sour for the family last September when a council officer visited the property and formed the opinion the cubby house had been built without planning or development approval from council.

The officer issued the family with a show cause notice on October 3, 2012.

The show cause notice required the family to stop constructing the cubby house until they obtained both approvals.

The family, who wished to remain anonymous, met with three council bureaucrats on January 22, 2013 where they were then issued them with an enforcement notice.

Outraged, the family appealed the enforcement notice to the Building and Development Dispute Resolutions Committee located in Brisbane.

The Building and Development Dispute Resolutions Committee found in favour of the family.

Building and Development Dispute Resolutions Committee chair Greg Rust concluded the show cause and enforcement notices were erroneously issued.

Mr Rust also found that the 2003 Toowoomba Planning Scheme and the 2012 Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme on which council had been basing their arguments against the cubby house, did not actually define what a cubby house was.

He concluded that the use of the scheme and council's argument was invalid.

Should Toowoomba Regional Council have spent 10 months attempting to get an East Toowoomba cubby house pulled down?

This poll ended on 10 August 2013.

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This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Master Builders Darling Downs regional manager Tony Ryder said the 10-month pursuit of the family by Toowoomba Regional Council simply beggared belief.

"It demonstrates the reviewing process does actually work and I am pleased the homeowner came out on top," Mr Ryder said.

"I wonder how much money and resources council spent on this matter and what their agenda was.

"Common sense should have prevailed along time ago.

"It (the report) has been widely circulated. It is absolutely laughable and mind boggling the extent council went to," he said.

A Toowoomba Regional Council spokesman would not reveal yesterday how much money they spent pursuing the family.

"The structure did not comply with the Queensland Development Code, Council's Planning Scheme or relevant Queensland Building regulations as it was higher than one metre (it is three metres high) and was erected within the six metre setback from the property boundary," he said.

"Council believed it was assessable building work under the Building Regulation 2006."