Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This really nice lady at the council...

Not that I didn't believe PD when they said that they had put in the dispensation this time but... So I rang the council last Friday and just asked if they had received it. Had me on hold a while and it was not looking good. So we chatted and I explained about the first time around when PD told me it would happen, so this time I was ringing to make sure. I found out that the council only do site inspections for set backs once a week, on a Tuesday. Yes, they found it. It went in under someone else's address with my plans and my lot number on all the other documentation. (Am I surprised????) Sorted that out, and the very nice lady said it was possible that it could get done this Tuesday (24th) but that there was a bit of a backlog but she would see what she could do.

Today I get a call from my CSC and we have the dispensation , it is approved!!! Yeah!!! They have to get the "in writing" from council and send it to their building permit people and we should have it end of this week/early next week. PD East do their construction meetings on Wednesdays, so next Wednesday I should have a construction manager, SS and some idea of what is going to happen when. As you may have been able to tell from last post, I was getting a bit stressed at having to finance the build for potentially an extra 2 or 3 months because of the delay in starting.

Fingers crossed for a slab for Christmas....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

lies, damn lies and builders promises...

Hey all, thought I should update the blog as we have not posted for 3 weeks. This is because we believed PD when they told us they were going to put in our dispensation early. The scenario goes something like this...

We found T&L (the cherubs) on the net, and worked out we had just bought the block next door. As they are the first house in the street, their setback set the standard for the street. (7.5m) As we are building a loooong single storey, we wanted to build closer to the front so we have some backyard to fit a trampoline and maybe later a lap pool. We have a 3 metre easement across the back of the block.

No dramas, we spoke to T&L who were really cool about the whole thing. Spoke to the council, we need a dispensation $205. Had discussions with PD PRIOR to tender and they said that they would apply for the dispensation when we signed the tender so it would all be underway for a November start. Told PD we knew the neighbours etc and we could take the plans and get them signed etc. No thanks we were told, we'll mail them.

So at tender we are charged $462 for the dispensation ($205 is the council fee) not happy. Will not budge, as they have to copy plans, mail costs and put it through their building permit people. Ok, as they are doing it early for us, ok.

Got to contract and saw that the permit applied for is 10/10/08? hmm, suppose that is the actual permit. We ended up bringing settlement on the land forward because everything was done, we were just waiting on the dispensation, which should have already been through as it was started on 24/9/08 at tender, we believed.

Waiting, waiting, come 10th November, I ring the council, spoke to a lovely lady on the phone for 45 minutes there is definitely NO application for our block.

Rang PD, not happy, in fact, quite hot under the collar. Despite being told that the dispensation was going to be started on 24 September, it was not started until 10 October. Then they had to apply to the council to find out who owned the blocks of land either side of us. I had told them, but THEY CANNOT BELIEVE ME, they have to apply to the council for this info and it took 3 weeks to get this information back. They did send to T&L who kindly signed and sent back. The other block is not sold, therefore it is still in the name of the developers.
These guys have made their money, this is stage 21 and they cleared the 25M mortgage in 2005 so every block from here is pure profit. Consequently, although there is a salesperson, they only "attend" the office every week or so. It took two weeks to get the contract of sale for the land signed and returned to me! We have to wait for 2 weeks to give them a chance to object. Taking us to 17 November, then PD wanted to wait until 19th, to give Aust Post a couple of extra days "in case". Graciously, then have supposedly sent off the application "early" on the 17th.

Now my bitch is that the council have people on holidays and their current turnaround is 3-4 weeks instead of 7-10 days. This means we may not get back the dispensation until 9th December and then it takes two weeks of organising to get to site scrape. They will not get anything done in December, which means at the earliest a January start (we got a letter saying 19th January is when trades are back).

So, we have to pay the mortgage on the land for November, December and half of January as well as our current house all for nothing. AND the bloody contract days do not start until site scrape, so this time is not even eating into our contract days. IF they start on 19 January, our contract days mean we should be in by the end of September 2009.
Our CSC is doing her best and it is not fair that I vented at her for someone else's undertaking. But as the saying goes, "you take their money, you take their sh*t".
Now I have had big vent, according to murphy's law, I should get a phone call tomorrow telling me they have the okay from council and the file will go to construction Monday and all this angst has been for nought.
Yeah, then the alarm clock went off...