A SMYTHESDALE man whose house burned down in May last year has said it could take three years to rebuild due to red tape.
Gerard Styles said he was being held up because he didn’t have legal access to his Doctor’s Road property, a former RSL children’s camp.
But Golden Plains Shire said Mr Styles’ property was also currently zoned public conservation and resource, which meant a house couldn’t be built on it.
The shire’s spokeswoman Felicity Bolitho said Mr Styles’ current home – a shipping container – was not allowed on the site either.
Mr Styles said after his original house burnt down due to an electrical fault, it took five months to clear the site because a small piece of asbestos was found on it and another 10 months to get a quote.
He then discovered his property zoning did not allow for a dwelling.
“And now they tell me they can’t give me a planning permit because I don’t have legal access to the property,” Mr Styles said.
However, Ms Bolitho said Mr Styles had been aware of the issues with his land for a number of years.
“These matters must be resolved before an application for a dwelling can be considered,” Ms Bolitho said.
“Mr Styles was living in a building that was not approved as a dwelling and therefore has no existing use rights.
“This process could take some time, notwithstanding the bushfire management overlay that also applies to his land, which might preclude a dwelling from ever being able to be built on the site.”
Ms Bolitho said Mr Styles had engaged a consultant who would work with the council to try to resolve the issue.