A CULBURRA Beach couple has accused Shoalhaven City Council over a lack of consultation before huge drainage works, including a levy bank, was built next to their home.
Brian and Sue Gould have lived in their Orient Point Road home on the corner of Raglan Street for more than 25 years. Three weeks ago they woke to council staff undertaking new drainage works next to their property.
A dirt mound, supposedly to help with drainage, has been placed along most of the boundary of their property, covering what was once an open drain but an area that also provided access to their property.
“We had had no notification or communication before, during or after about any proposed works from council,” Mrs Gould said.
“Council workers were just there doing the work, they told us they were building a mound for drainage purposes.
“We contacted council and were put through to an engineer, and asked if work could be stopped until we could meet with council and discuss it.
“We were told work couldn’t stop, as it was going to rain and that we should contact two other staff, which we have tried but we have only been able to write to them.
“We have sent off seven registered letters including to mayor Joanna Gash and as of yet have had no response from council.”
The couple said at no time until the work actually started, had they had any notification, even verbally, from council.
“My husband noticed a surveyor on site and asked him what was going on and he said they were going to ‘put a bit of a bank in’,” Mrs Gould said.
“Then the workers turned up and started work and it was only then we were told by an engineer who was on site what was going in.
“We just can’t believe this can happen.
“From the pegs we saw in the ground it appeared it [the mound] may be up to 1.5 metres high.
“It’s a monstrosity and degrades the aesthetics of our property and how much is it going to affect our resale value in the future.”
The couple are now concerned that the structure will lead to flooding of their property.
“I’m a plumber by trade and I’ve seen where the water runs through this area when it rains,” he said.
“I fear it will back up in our property and not be able to get over or through the mound and then come into our house.
“And then if water does pool in this mound how long will it stay there?
“Will we then have to put up with mosquito infestations?
“When we built here we were told as we were on a corner block we had to build three metres from our boundary, yet here is council putting this structure virtually right on our boundary.
“Even the council sewerage runs under the mound.”
Although Raglan Street is marked on maps as a road, the northern section which the couple live on was never developed, but had been used by locals as a thoroughfare, while the Goulds were also given permission from council to build a garage on the rear of their property with access from Raglan Street.
“About 18 months ago the northern end of the street was piped. We received letters from council saying this work was going to happen, we knew all about it,” he said.
“But this came out of the blue.”
Since work started the couple say it has greatly affected their health.
“Both of us aren’t sleeping, we are thinking about this all the time,” Mrs Gould said.