Jeremy McLachlan stands on the edge of his family?s backyard where a retaining wall buckled in last week?s heavy rain.
Jeremy McLachlan stands on the edge of his family?s backyard where a retaining wall buckled in last week?s heavy rain.

Wall collapse

By ED SOUTHORN

JEREMY McLachlan looks despairingly at a huge five-metre embankment where two metres of his backyard at Terranora have been used "without consultation" to build a retaining wall.

Mr McLachlan now finds his family having to deal with a gaping chasm after recent heavy rains caused the collapse of the retaining wall on the construction site of a shopping centre in Terranora Road.

However it is the failure to notify him about the encroachment of his land that has not only Mr McLachlan, but his brother Jamie up in arms.

Jeremy said the shopping centre developer, Charlie Freriechs of Cabarita, had not consulted him about building a retaining wall on the property boundary.

"They came two metres over our side, ripped our fence out and piled it on their rubbish heap," he said.

The retaining wall, about 100 metres long and five metres high, had to be dismantled after it buckled during last week's torrential rain.

The block wall, now being rebuilt, runs along the backyard boundary of two houses belonging to the McLachlan family.

Brothers Jamie and Jeremy McLachlan, their wives and young children live in neighbouring houses.

Jeremy's wife Teresa yesterday said the wall had been built too close to the property boundary and part of the McLachlan land had been lost to the wall.

She fears the wall is so big it may again collapse the next time there is prolonged rain.

"It looks like a disaster waiting to happen, it's a public safety risk," she said.

Jeremy, a tiler, said his family home used to look across undulating hills, "now it's on the edge of a five-metre cliff". He said water had drained behind the wall, building up too much pressure on blocks in the wall, causing it to buckle.

He is concerned the family property may have been devalued by the huge wall and at least wants his land reinstated to its original condition.

Tweed Shire senior building inspector Ross Cameron said Workcover and structural engineering inspectors had looked at the damaged wall since it buckled in the rain and were supervising reconstruction.

The shire's development assessment manager, Garry Smith, said Council earlier this year had issued Mr Freriechs a notice to complete the shopping centre project and Mr Freriechs had since applied for an extension.

Mr Freriechs said last week's rain had fallen before the retaining wall could be fully completed.

"There was a lot of rain, it was a deluge," he said. "We need time to finish the wall and get the drain in at the top."

Mr Freriechs said structural engineers were supervising the reconstruction and the McLachlan family land would be reinstated.



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