Moving, while standing still – Problems with Blacktown Council

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While we don’t have much to report, our current Customer Support Rep at Metricon has been working non stop in an attempt to get Blacktown Council to approve the plans. She has been in constant contact with us throughout the day and even gave us a ring before leaving for the day, despite having no new information. The level of customer service has been supurb thus far, and after understanding what is happening with the approval process, I can’t really fault Metricon for the delay.

The developer of Stonecutters Ridge, Medallist, has also stepped up to the plate when they got wind of the issues we were having. One of the additional issues that Council has brought up is the existing wooden fence that is on two sides of our lot. Council is saying we can’t have a wooden fence, yet Medallist was allowed to build a fence when developing the land.

In a standup move, a representative at Medallist spent the better part of the day analyzing Blacktown Council’s claims and even consulting with their bushfire protection consultant they’ve got on site. To take it even a step further, they forwarded documentation from their own approval process to pass along to council and said they’d be happy to speak to council on our behalf.

blacktown councilUnfortunately, here’s where it starts going downhill. Blacktown Council has been unresponsive on all fronts. What started off as a relatively optomistic process – with the quick lodgement and transition into the neighbour notification stage, it has all but stalled and we’ve heard very little in the last few days. Our approval manager at council has not returned phone calls to us, Metricon, or the developer within the last few days. I’m not sure why they’ve disapeared off the radar after the positive start, but it’s starting to make me wonder if we’ll meet our deadline of March 4. That’s the day we’re required to have ‘site start’.

Talk soon…

About Stefan
Stefan is the regular writer for Megan & Stefan, and hails originally from San Diego, California. A resident of Australia since 2007, he write about his experiences living abroad, his love of photography, and documenting the process of building a house here in this sunburnt country he calls home. Feel free to drop him a line - he's always up for a chat.

Comments

  1. Paul says:

    I completely understand your frustration. There’s nothing worse than red-tape and delays when you’re waiting for the site start. Council Approval is the worst part of the process. I think they’re trained in how to make things as drawn-out and difficult as possible. Sounds like they’re doing a good job of that! Hopefully, it will be sorted soon and things start happening. Good luck!

  2. Amanda says:

    I can’t believe Council are now making something of the fencing! What else are we supposed to do? Masonry fences are about $250/m2

    Would Metricon change to use the Trend Windows bushfire rated bifolds?

  3. Megan says:

    We should hear tomorrow if they will approve the bi fold doors or not so everyone keep crossed for us! They have succumbed on the fencing due to the developer actually doing the research and then phoning council directly on our behalf. That was really nice of them and I truly appreciate it. Let’s just hope we get green lights and thumbs up tomorrow!

  4. SarahV says:

    Hi Megan and Stefan. How frustrating this must be. I hope that it all gets approved asap. FYI we went over our date by a few weeks and Metricon were happy to extend the date. Our representative said that they have that there for people who intentionally drag the chain, but if there is a proper reason then I’m sure they’ll be OK. Fingers crossed for those beautiful bi fold doors.

  5. Kriss says:

    Geez, I am sorry to hear there has been such drama! It must be so frustrating. I am relieved to hear SarahV say they missed their deadline and it was ok. But, either way, I am sure the two of you are anxious to get this going.
    I’ll be thinking of you.
    Kriss

  6. Stefan says:

    Hey all,

    Thanks for the words of encouragement. It has definitely been frustrating – being SO close yet having to deal with individuals at Council that really couldn’t care less about your situation but just want to make sure they’re free of any responsibility and blame should something go wrong. Sarah – thanks for the information! It’s nice to know that Metricon is flexible with the 150 days and it’s not a hard and fast rule. I would assume we’d fall into the same category as you – we’ve been doing everything in our power to make the deadline and if Metricon tries to charge us the additional 2%, I’ll be sure to fight it.

    Here’s hoping this all get’s resolved quickly – I’m getting impatient!

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