Legal action against developer’s pit

Planks prop up neighbours'' fences at the Roberts Street site. 189392_01 Picture: CAM LUCADOU-WELLS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Residents say their backyards and fences are on the brink of dangerous collapse due to a deep water-logged pit at a shambolic building site in Noble Park.

Several months ago, the house at 1 Roberts Street was demolished, leaving an unsightly mess and a pit that extends within centimetres of three adjoining fencelines.

As the pit has filled with water, the ground beneath the boundary fences has perilously eroded.

A neighbouring backyard garden and fence has already subsided into the excavation – what may be an unpleasant surprise for the owners reportedly away on holiday.

Other neighbours have tried to prop up their fences with planks.

In the meantime, Greater Dandenong Council says it has taken legal action against the developer. The council declined to give any detail on what action it sought.

The city’s planning, design and amenity director Jody Bosman said “(the) action is ongoing and further matters will be put to the court”.

Neighbouring owner Bill Madden said if the council hadn’t stepped in, “all of our fences would collapse”.

“We are all worried about it. The soil (in the pit) was washing away with high rains – you could see under our fence.”

He said the council “shut down” works on the site. He hopes the council successfully seeks to back-fill the pit, perhaps using some of the unsightly mound of earth, piles of planks, broken pavers and other building materials on site.

The developer is believed to be in the process of liquidation for the past two years. Its registered address leads to an apparently abandoned property in Endeavour Hills.

The Roberts Street site was been long inactive since the developer was awarded a permit by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in 2011 to build three-storey apartments with basement parking including car stackers on the site.

The application was opposed by Greater Dandenong Council at the time.

The permit was extended in 2015.


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