Love Thy Neighbour.

My parents have been traveling around Australia in their caravan. They’ve been staying with us in between trips. Lake Macquarie Council is now saying they must move their caravan because they’ve received several complaints. I am not allowed to have their caravan parked on our front lawn next to my house.

It’s entirely on our lawn, entirely contained within our property, off the street, not blocking anyone’s views of the street or anything else. We are at the end of a small culdesac so we don’t get through traffic. The majority of foot traffic we get is from local residents or door-to-door salespeople.

If you drive around the streets here you will see many, many homes with caravans on their front lawns or driveways. We’ve been having a lovely time having my parents visit with us.  My children were all born overseas where we lived for the first 3.5 years of their lives, so it has been wonderful for them to get to know their grandparents.

A neighbour named [everyone is freaking out that I put her name in, so I’m editing it out] has unfortunately complained to Lake Macquarie Council multiple times regarding my parent’s caravan. We’ve had visits from a representative of council on 4 separate occasions. The first woman indicated that the caravan’s location had been inspected by a ranger and it was acceptable in terms of its location over some of the nature strip for reasons mentioned above. She said however, that my parents could not “live” in the caravan.

The next 2 visitors from Council spoke with my parents. They were once again informed that there had been a complaint. They were pretty friendly and seemed sympathetic to us.

Yesterday the 4th Council representative visited and told us once again that there was a complaint and that the caravan had to be moved. My parents are not allowed to stay.

The Council representative I spoke with informed me that if the land owner (me) owned the caravan then it would be permitted to stay, but because I don’t own it, it has to go. These regulations are in place to prevent land owners from operating their own caravan parks. I can apply for a permit to operate a caravan park if I want them to be able to stay.

What a joke right?!! Clearly I am NOT operating a caravan park.

Right now, we await a visit from the “Compliance Department” who no doubt will give me formal notice that the caravan must be moved because I do not have a permit to operate a caravan park.

Just to be clear, we have had no previous altercations and to be honest, very little interaction, with this neighbour (or any neighbours!!). We are good, decent people. We tend to keep to ourselves and mind our own business. We thought we were good neighbours! I can’t see any reason that this caravan being on my front lawn could be impacting anyone negatively or give anyone a reason to lodge a formal complaint.

I don’t know what is more ridiculous, Lake Macquarie Council’s regulations and inability to use their discretion in this case, or the multiple frivolous complaints made by [everyone is freaking out that I put her name in, so I’m editing it out].

IMG_6988

My parents with my children

 

Has anyone experienced anything similar? Do you have family staying with you with their caravan? Has your local Council ordered them to leave?

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Love Thy Neighbour.

  1. Easy fix .. Put the caravan rego in your name or joint with your parents it’s your caravan then. Get a receipt for it as well.

  2. tthis is total BS CRAP Lake Macquarie must be idiots to even take this on. I hope KARMA comes back to bite this woman so hard, what a nasty piece of work she must be. There are many vans on Lake Macquarie and surrounding areas with no trouble to anyone. If we were asked to move our van they would have a fight on there hand. They should have told this horrible person that it all checked out legal end of story no action taken wake up Lake Macquarie Council

  3. Have you tried talking directly to her (in the friendliest manner possible of course) to find out what the problem is? That way she can explain her reasons for complaining and you can give your side of the story.

    • That is definitely a worthy suggestion, however, I honestly believe that approaching her directly would not be the best idea. We only found out for certain who was lodging the complaints this past week. Prior to this we only had unconfirmed suspicions. There are a number of reasons that we are hesitant to approach her which I won’t post about publicly.

      • Fair enough. All the best with your situation. I pray that the tensions between your neighbour resolves soon so you can be able to relax and enjoy your time with your parents. 🙂

  4. This is just so typical of our stupid stupid laws and regulations. If no one had complained there never would have been a problem. Would it help at all if you said that your parents don’t live in it and stay in the house while there, or have you already told them that?? I used to stay at a friend’s place all the time in my van with it parked in their driveway and I even asked if I could trim the neighbour’s tree because the branches made it difficult for me to get in…I’m probably just very lucky that they didn’t complain to council! This neighbor needs to be thankful that she has such good neighbours because it certainly doesn’t always turn out like this.
    I know that there are very strict rules on Lake Macquarie as well. We got into trouble for having our boat anchored out the front of our house. The rules there are that you can’t have your boat anchored for any length of time and leave it unattended but you aren’t allowed to stay on your boat for more than a few days in one place (not sure of the details). I have heard of a boat being towed at Warners Bay because the owner had it anchored in front of the shops and went in to buy lunch…when they came back, the boat was gone!! RIDICULOUS!!!

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