Architecture, Australia

We have the Go Ahead

We have been waiting for the local authorities to approve the building of our retirement home by the sea.

We didn’t want to have any issues with the approvals. So:-

We researched, we planned. We read. We asked Questions.

Plans were drawn. Colour selections made.

After changing my mind a hundred times adding and deleting – we had our final plans ready for submission to the local Authority.

And we waited.


Did we get approval to go -ahead?

No, Not at first.

  • The steel design had to be altered slightly. This resulted in one bedroom (a spare one), being reduced in width by 15 mm.
  • The Developers wanted the fence posts to be thicker and heavier. After all, we have a secondary lane frontage and heaven forbid someone not have a matching fence post!
  • The worst part – we had to re-site the whole house – moving it towards one boundary 350mm – just over one foot!

No matter how thorough you try to be – there are so many different rules and regulations, some by the Local Authority and some by the Land developer. And they aren’t the same.

Early last week, we were finally granted full approval to go ahead with the build! Yay!

The builders have begun to make their presence known. A temporary fence and Portable Toilet are on site. They are ready to go!

Things will progress fairly quickly. They seem rather keen.

Have you built a house and experienced delays or issues? This is all new to me.

I have started a new blog to chart the building process and progress, which you can find at:

A Home by the Sea

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53 thoughts on “We have the Go Ahead”

  1. Refreshing to find someone playing by the often ridiculous rules. Here, the habit is fast becoming that you carry on regardless until checked, and if that happens bribe your way out of it.


    1. Oh Gosh. Sadly it is so, in many parts of the world. No such “luck” here though, Colonialist. Many years ago, we tried to add a small addition to our home, without going through council. My F-i-l was a builder, so it was all going to be built legitimately, just without the red tape and fees. We laid the concrete slab and voila, next day we had a large red, STOP WORK notice stuck on our front door! The Council have spies everywhere, it seems. And we had to submit plans which we did have already drawn up, to Council. (They did approve it, though.) You surely are not acquainted with the Nanny state that modern Australia has become, Colonialist. Seriously, though, they did give us 10 mm off the required setback….. I will treasure that space! Ha!


      1. Ten whole mm! Hallelujah!
        You have prompted me to post, in due course, about other monsters of houses growing up in our new area after having them start to loom over us in our previous dwelling.


          1. I suppose ‘looming’ is a relative term, because the first one was more than 100m away; still we valued our privacy and it was blatantly transgressing bylaws. There, we went through the whole formal objection bit only to have them abruptly swept under the carpet to a soundtrack of crinkling banknotes.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That is the other extreme isn’t it, Colonialist? One sticks to the rules, to an anal extent and the other look the other way if there is a whif of money in the offering. Geez. If only common sense was contagious, we would have it all sorted.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Not ever having done this before, I am super excited to see it take shape. There is a down side though. I won’t see my kids so much when we move there as it is some distance from the city, but if we don’t do it now, we will miss out altogether. Age doesn’t readily forgive us, does it?


    1. Hehe. Thanks, Sabine. I am a bit of a shutterbug so I have already started doing just that. Was thinking of doing a time-lapse thing by taking a series from the identical spot, over the course of the build. For fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great excitement when planning a home for retirement. Bureaucracy is tiresome all over the world. My late brother, Frank, who died almost 2 years ago in Holland had left a sizable amount of money. It took till a couple of weeks ago to finalize the distribution of his estate to his remaining four bothers and sister. It was a total nightmare. We all had to get a Dutch TFN (tax file number) and even had to get proof of existence signed by police, apart from valid passports, birth certificates…and much more. We nearly gave up.
    As for a retirement home; we chose to live near walking distances of shops, cinema, doctors and hospital. It was the best choice we ever made.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that does sound crazy, Gerard. I suppose inheritance brings out some fraudulent claims and the authorities have to be sure they have the right beneficiaries. But it must also be very difficult for the grieving relatives. Re the location of the home, we certainly factored in those things. We feel we have the best of both things in our new location.


  3. How wonderful! I have never been involved in a house project but we redid our whole yard two years ago. Well, it’s still ongoing but most of the stuff was done then. There were so many rules to follow (Finland has many rules). For example, I was supposed to send a photo of one tree to someone in the municipality so they could assess if it was okay to chop it down. I did no such thing. Also, we were forced to place our shed in the middle of our yard because in any other place it would have been too close to the neighbour’s border!! And if we had gone ahead with our initial plan, then someone could complain about it and the whole thing would have to be torn down. Thankfully our designer managed to place it so that it looks like it’s supposed to be exactly there πŸ˜€


    1. That sounds like a nightmare, Suvi. And that is just a garden. I will keep quiet about bureaucratic complaints now I think. I realize they have to control building lest we create shantytowns with stuff everywhere, but it does bring out the authority’s cranky pants here if you go over the setback for bordering properties. However, we can put a shed up right next to the fence, closer than a habitable building such as a house, because no one lives in it…. Funny logic! I am glad your designer worked it out. Have you got much more to do now, or is it nearly complete. I would love you to link a post if you blogged on it, so I could see a visual of the grand shed!! Might give me some ideas. πŸ˜‰


      1. We mainly have painting to do, otherwise the layout is ready. We redid everything from paving to plants and grass. And built the shed and a pergola as well I haven’t blogged about it as I feel that I don’t want to show my home on my blog but who knows if I will one day! Although I will have forgotten all about it by then. I can privately share some photos with you if you like πŸ˜„

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That would be fun. I can understand you wanting to protect your privacy. I would if I still had small children. Let me know if you can’t find my email on my profile.


    1. Lol @ Heather. But I think you are only teasing. My husband and I disagree about choices but surprisingly, we agree on most things in the house design. That part went really smoothly. He takes all the credit for that, of course…. hehe. Where would you live if you could choose anywhere in Australia? Would it be where you are now?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My retirement dream is an apartment in Melbourne. I want to eat 6 different cuisines every week and visit the theatre, art galleries, museums, markets whenever I want. I don’t want to own a car or a garden. I’d like a Vespa.

        Not your average sea/tree change! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hmm, Heather. I had some thoughts along this path. That is before we moved to an inner city townhouse when we sold our piece of suburbia. There are lots of issues with downsizing that aren’t immediately obvious, which I will post about shortly, however the convenience of shopping centres and services, transport and routes to the north and south coast at my door, does have its appeal. I will miss being able to walk to trendy restaurants and bars, or local markets any time of the day I choose. As for the garden, the Schnauzer descended into a deep doggy depression when deprived of same. MOTH had a Vespa for travelling to the railway station, but since retired has been desperate to get a mobility scooter so he can go fishing with the Schnauzer at the marina 5 km away from the new home! And he has no problems with mobility! The discussion is ongoing.


  4. Uuuummm, I guess authorities can be very picky regarding new constructions. At least they are in Spain, specially now with houses in front of the sea (in the past there have been horrendous aberrations when there wasn’t any law regulating these constructions… now we have houses so close to the water that every winter the sea washes out fences and floods the first floors of those buildings… But owners have the right to not demolish their buildings for another 90 years!!), regulations are very strict! So glad to read that you got full approval! πŸ™‚
    I think I’ve never know how the process of building a whole new house is done… I’m looking forward how your project comes alive!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Mercedes. It is very exciting. The ramifications of such haphazard building in Spain sound dire and unsafe! With climate change, wild weather might spell more damage for seaside places. I am glad my new place is close to the water but far enough away to be safe from any ill effects. Do you holiday in Spain?


  5. Sounds totally … um… trying to find a good word here! Kafkask, maybe? As in – weird/obscurely bureaucratic! πŸ˜‰

    I’ve never tried to actually *move* my house, Forestwood, – just to paint it! πŸ˜€
    According to the local housing rules in my area, the outside of the house had to be kept in the β€œoriginal, light colours” … but NOBODY actually recalled what that colour actually was! So… I painted it bright blue!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
    Oh, it was gorgeously beautiful! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great word: Kafkask. As in a bureaucratic nightmare? Moving the house was only on the plan, Elena so it wasn’t as difficult as it sounds. I probably should have clarified that! Lol!
      So you must live in an older area where they want to keep the colors traditional, yes?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Forestwood,
        Yes, entirely so! Kafka was a brilliant descriptor of the absurd in society! πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, he wrote in German, so I have access only to translated works… πŸ˜‰
        Still, at times I find myself in situations which seem like a modern enactment of his writing! Like – with your house, or our colours! πŸ˜€
        Yes, the area where I live is not that old, but they do want to keep the colours “traditional”. Meaning – boring πŸ˜€
        I mean, it can look nice… I guess… but same-same all the time? Please, no! πŸ˜€
        May you have a beautiful and most colourful day, Forestwood! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you ever so much, Elena. I do agree with your words. Monotony is monotonous! It is neat and tidy to have uniformity but too much is suffocating and sterile! I am not familiar with Kafka, other than what I read on the internet about him. Can you recommend a title or two?

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Most of his work did not survive, but some did. I am no scholar, but I will recommend “The Trial” (Der Process). Not only for its dark humour, but also because it has some relevance today πŸ˜‰
        … like, with what you wrote about those ABC journalists.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh it does sound like an interesting read. It may even be relevant to read that given the state of our media at the moment. I will mark that title down and see what I can find. Thanks so much, Elena for the recommendation. Have a lovely weekend,


    1. It is exciting seeing all the pieces and layers go on, one by one. I was thinking of seeing if I could do some kind of time laps with my photos, but am unsure if there is an app that might facilitate that.

      Liked by 1 person

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