Jul 03, 2015 9:41 am
Hi guys! This is a tricky one and I would love any/all advice or thoughts! (We are about half way through our build)
When the plans for my new house were sent to the building surveyors for a building permit to be issued, I was contacted by the surveyors in regards to a condition attached to the land contract. It stipulated that I must have a landscape plan approved by council prior to a building permit being issued.
I contacted Maroondah council about this and was put through to the Agricultural/ Landscaping division where I talked to a guy.
This guy told me that whilst this was a condition of my land contract it wasn't something people usually bothered with and there was no red flag at their end if it wasn’t adhered to. I thanked him and called the building surveyors to pass this on. The Surveyors disagreed and told me that in fact they had been told that by council before and had later been fined for not getting a landscape plan approved. They insisted I need an approved landscape plan approved before they would go any further.
I called council again. I talked to a second man who told me the same information. But gave me some rules regarding the landscape plan so i could make one ‘if I really wanted to’.
After some back and forth calls and emails I finally was able to submit a landscape plan to council. I was told through this whole process things like ‘Just put in a 2000L water tank, no one will inspect the physical garden itself, it just needs to be on the plan’. Using this advice, that is how I drafted my plans.
I picked up the landscape plan approval letter a few weeks later and hand delivered it to the building surveyor. However on the approval letter it stated ‘Please contact council prior to issuing a certificate of occupancy for a landscape inspection’. This went against everything I had been told from day one of collaborating with council.
I have now been told from my building supervisor that I am unable to get landscapers in to do any gardening until the certificate of occupancy is given. However the building surveyors cannot issue a certificate of occupancy until the landscape is approved.
Firstly, has anyone else had to adhere to a council approved landscape plan? Did they inspect? When did they inspect and if there were any alterations to the original plans what was their course of action?
Secondly, the builder has assured me he is friends with the building surveyor and will get the certificate of occupancy without council approval of landscape. Am I a fool to trust him?
Thanks in advance guys. This one is stressing me out!
Re: Landscape plan2
Jul 03, 2015 12:30 pm
We had a similar thing for our covenants. I drew up a plan - by hand - put in what I thought I might do - bark and lawn etc etc - trees, shrubs etc etc.
I googled my plants and actually put the Latin/real names for all the plants in. Most are names you wouldn't have a clue what they were.
I did a code below - and did it all on A4 paper.
Got back an A3 sized blow-up - stamped -APPROVED - signed and dated. Not one question on anything.
My garden does resemble - slightly - this plan but no-one ever came and looked.
I think its just part of the game to ensure you know you have to (should) do a garden asap AND within the needs of the area you live in - ie nicely. Not all tiny plants -a few bigger ones etc.
The Estate Developer actually got bonds from some people to ensure they did it - and repaid them after they advised they'd done garden. We had no bond. Is there one in your contract ?
NB - it is a minor issue - don't stress. Much more to stress about later ...
Re: Landscape plan3
Jul 03, 2015 12:49 pm
Saint Mike, you've done so much to put my mind at ease. I will be wary, but I will not dive into the depths of despair that I was this morning : )
There was no bond and in fact none else in the street has had to adhere to a landscape plan (they all finished building about 5 yrs ago) but I was just concerned about that sentence on the Landscape plan approval letter seeking contact for approval. I'll just lie low and hope everyone approves everything and the landscape plan isn't mentioned
Thanks for your help!
Re: Landscape plan4
Jul 03, 2015 3:26 pm
can you tell me what 'some rules regarding the landscape plan so i could make one ‘if I really wanted to’. are?
I ask as we are doing a knock down re build in Maroondah and the council have asked me to submit a landscape plan. We have already knocked the house down but I need to submit the plan before we start building apparently, and they state that someone will come and inspect the property 3 months after the build is complete to make sure that we have planted as per the plan.
As we have not even got the slab done or the cut and retaining walls its very hard for me to do a landscape plan off just my imagination.
Now that you say its not red flagged and no one chases it up I am wondering if we should even bother doing it....
Re: Landscape plan5
Jul 03, 2015 4:23 pm
Jessicana10 Do you mean Maroondah council in Vic?
Because thats the council we are dealing with at the moment. It really comes down to your building surveyors. They may not see/know that the council require a landscape plan and therefore may go ahead and issue a building permit without notifying council= good to go. However if your surveyors are thorough then you'll at least need to submit a plan to council. Whether they follow up with the inspection...well thats the basis of my above Q. Some of the 'rules' off the top of my head are
- 2000L water tank
- designated bin area
- all garden beds at least 1m2
- All trees, shrubs, plants within a garden bed
- All plants to be native or indigenous (need some of both)
- At least one canopy tree in front and back yard
They of course do not have a document with all these rules, its just what needs to be on it for approval but 'do what you want' with your plan. I've only learnt of the rules-not-rules through calls and emails. So so frustrating. Let me know how you go
Re: Landscape plan6
Jul 03, 2015 6:49 pm
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