11 February, 2023
Residents reassured on driveway access
RESIDENTS can be assured their drive-way access will be restored after Tablelands Regional Council do road or drain works around their properties after it was revealed that one landowner had not been able to use their driveway since early December.
A report tabled at the meeting advised councillors of the current process, but Deputy Mayor Cr Kevin Cardew said it failed to address the issues that had arisen where council roadworks had altered or diminished people’s access to their properties.
Cr Cardew said he was aware of at least three incidences where residents had complained they could no longer access their property after works were done by council.
“Re-sheets or road works in some cases have resulted in people’s existing accesses being diminished and people can’t use their access as they would normally have used it up until the roadworks were completed or undertaken,” he said.
“There is nothing there at the moment to give any comfort to property owners who have an existing driveway and it’s taken away from them due to council roadworks.
“I would like to see a policy put in place that if council does roadworks and it takes away driveway access to properties then council reinstates an adequate access at council’s cost
“Because we’ve interfered with it, we’ve taken the rights of the people who own these properties away and I don’t believe that's right.”
He pointed to a property at 193 Picnic Crossing Road where council had re-sheeted and reformed the road which meant residents had not been able to access their property since 1 December.
Owners had to drive up the road for some distance before they could access the verge, then drive down the verge to get into their property.
Cr Cardew put forward a motion for council to develop a policy to give residents an assurance that driveways or access would be retained during roadworks.
“Where for driveway crossovers and access from council-controlled roads where works have been undertaken by council and these works have diminished, worsened or adversely affected the existing driveway crossover access to properties to ensure property owners are not disadvantaged due to the works and the level of the existing access is maintained due to these works,” the motion read.
Cr Bernie Wilce said he wanted to ensure the policy would reflect that it was property owners’ responsibility to maintain their own access.
He said during a recent inspection of Griffin Road after flooding over the road two weeks ago, some residents were unim-pressed with the damage it had done to their property crossovers and wanted council to be responsible for repairing the damage.
“Any policy in this regard should reflect that we are not absolving the landowners for maintaining their crossover,” he said.
Council voted to develop the policy which will be brought back for council endorsement. Council also agreed that a temporary access would be provided to the land-owners of 193 Picnic Crossing Road until a permanent access could be installed.