GARRY and Lesley Smith have questioned whether council rules apply to all ratepayers after a former councillor demolished a shed without permission.
The Smiths live next door to former councillor Sam Romano, who is set to subdivide his property as part of the Shiralee land release.
However, they observed a machinery shed demolished on the property in December and after further inquiries with Orange City Council, they were informed by a staff member a development application (DA) should have been lodged, but was not.
“Because of the size of the shed, he had to have a DA to put it up and he had to have a DA to take it down, that’s what he told us,” Mr Smith said.
A DA was approved for the shed’s construction in 2007.
The parties have a history of conflicts, with the Smiths previously objecting to Mr Romano’s subdivision plans due to lost views, a revision allowing more compact lots on the land around them and a retaining wall on their boundary.
Mrs Smith said the shed demolition did not affect them directly, but Mr Romano had planning experience as a councillor and a developer.
If anybody’s in a position to know the regulations, it’s someone with his background.Lesley Smith
“It was a fairly big shed so in a way, it’s good that it’s gone, but it’s just the principle that he should’ve had a DA to demolish it and he didn’t bother to get one,” she said.
“If anybody’s in a position to know the regulations, it’s someone with his background.”
Council spokesman Nick Redmond said the council had written to residents in Lysterfield Road asking them to explain why a farm shed was demolished without prior approval.
“Once that response is considered, the council has a number of options,” he said.
“It is a reality of the new Shiralee area that some parts will be developed for housing much sooner than others, so managing any potential tension surrounding different land uses will be part of the process.”
Mr Romano could not be reached for comment.