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Adelaide couple to demolish dream home because they didn't get council approval

Bob Sinclair has less than a week to knock down his Elizabeth Park house

He has spent the past six years building it to live in with his wife Sheryl

Mr Sinclair, 66, built part of the two-storey home with wood instead of steel

Council is forcing him to knock it down because he didn't get approval

By Sarah Michael for Daily Mail Australia

Published: 04:04 GMT, 7 October 2014 | Updated: 12:01 GMT, 7 October 2014

Bob Sinclair has spent the past six years building a house to live in with his wife Sheryl but his local council says he has less than a week left to knock it down.

Mr Sinclair, 66, built part of the two-storey home in Elizabeth Park, north of Adelaide, with wood instead of the steel that the council had originally approved.

He tried and failed to get his changes approved and as a result the Environment, Resources and Development Court found in favour of Playford Council during a June hearing and ordered that the entire structure be demolished before next Tuesday.

Bob Sinclair has less than a week to knock down his house in Elizabeth Park, north of Adelaide

Mr Sinclair, 66, has spent the past six years building it to live in with his wife Sheryl

'We're looking into whether or not we can appeal but it appears the cost of the appeal would be prohibitive,' Mr Sinclair told Daily Mail Australia.

'The best we can get is an extension on the demolition order.'

The block of land was originally purchased in 2006 by Mr Sinclair's daughter Vanessa Sinclair-Benke, but Mr Sinclair started building the house for him and his wife to live in.

'My daughter was looking for an investment property,' he said.

'We would have been paying the mortgage as the rent on the house.'

Mr Sinclair first lodged a development application in June 2006, and council approved a two-storey steel framed dwelling and garage in January 2007.

Work commenced in January 2008, and under the development approval work was required to be substantially completed by 11 January 2010, or else the approval would lapse.

Mr Sinclair built part of the two-storey home with wood instead of steel and the council is forcing him to knock it down because he didn't get approval

Mr Sinclair said the price of steel went 'through the roof' after his first application and would have cost an extra $40,000 so he used timber instead, the Northern Messenger reported.

In July 2011 a neighbour complained to council about inadequately secured roof sheeting on the partially built house which was flapping in the wind and making noise.

The council's building surveyor investigated the complaint and found a number of defects in relation to the timber framing, gang nails leaving rafters and weather damage to the timber framing and flooring.

It was then that he also discovered the framing had been built with timber not steel. 

Mr Sinclair was told in a letter he must lodge another development application seeking approval in relation to the timber framing in order to continue construction.

On 26 April 2012, Mr Sinclair submitted a further development application and 'development plan consent' was granted on 5 November 2012.

The block of land was originally purchased in 2006 by Mr Sinclair's daughter Vanessa Sinclair-Benke, but Mr Sinclair started building the house for him and his wife to live in

Before he could recommence construction, Mr Sinclair also required 'building rules consent' for the same development.

No building rules consent had been obtained by November 2013, so an extension of time was granted.

Mr Sinclair submitted building rule consent from private building certifiers Katnich Dodd in April 2014, but the council did not issue approval, saying his submission did not match the previous development application.

On June 5 the council filed an application with the court for a demolition order, which was granted on June 27. 

Mr Sinclair told Daily Mail Australia his view was that the council had approved his development then 'changed its mind'.

'Eventually I got my building consent approval and the council withheld it and put on a demolition order,' he said.

Playford Council has been contacted for comment.



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