The Southern Downs Regional Council takes a hard line against anyone ignoring planning and development rules by commencing uses, or erecting buildings without the proper approval. Where the community suspects unauthorised building work, plumbing and drainage work or unlawful land use is being carried out, the Council will investigate.
Through its compliance area, Council officers will track complaints relating to:
- Unauthorised building work (where no permit has been obtained)
- Unauthorised plumbing work (where no permit has been obtained)
- Unfenced and unsafe swimming pool areas
- Land use violations such as operating a business from a residential premise without Council authorisation
Compliance officers will assess the situation and notify the owner if a violation has been detected. Owners risk being forced to remove unapproved structures - at their own expense. In most cases Council asks the owner to respond to a Show Cause Notice and obtain the appropriate approval in retrospect.
Where the violation presents an immediate threat to the health and safety of the community and where the response from the owner has been unacceptable, an Enforcement Notice will be issued.
It is therefore recommended that if an owner is unsure about whether a structure requires approval they should contact Council to discuss.