Saturday, January 30, 2010

To Settle or Not to Settle

We were initially advised that Settlement on the land would occur in September 2009. For various developer and council issues, this was delayed till January 2010. It was a frustrating wait with a particular issue regarding trees which almost resulted in our withdrawal from our contract with Australand.

Basically, the land was sold to us with the understanding that existing trees on the lot will be removed. Shortly after signing the contract and only after Metricon's preliminary drafting of site plans did we discover that this condition was no longer true. Apparently council had reviewed the site and changed their original assessment of our trees, flagging them for protection. This meant bar building a tree house, we would not be able to fit our dream home on the land we've purchased. Photo on the right shows the collection of trees.

Now we chose this estate for it's leafy green quality so it was a difficult situation to find ourselves in. We had large trees with canopies that branched over a great portion of the lot and the only way to build our home was to remove these trees. So unfortunately for a month we had to pursue the removal of these trees. We put our case to council, we debated the technicalities of duty of care and misinformation with Australand then finally instructed our conveyancer to advise Australand of our intention to withdraw from the contract due to misleading information presented in the contract. Funny enough Australand then informed us that they had resolved the matter with council and trees can now be removed with a permit. We were happy with the outcome but disappointed that it took so long to resolve.

The land finally settled in January 2010. Sceptical after the whole experience, we held out celebrations till the trees were actually removed.