Former Tweed Shire councillor and deputy mayor, Bob Brinsmead.
Former Tweed Shire councillor and deputy mayor, Bob Brinsmead. Tweed Daily News

Council fines former deputy mayor

BUILDING a shed - and getting the correct council approvals - can have its pitfalls, even for long-serving former Tweed Shire councillor and deputy mayor Bob Brinsmead.

Mr Brinsmead and his daughter Judith face a $600 council fine for illegal building following a 10-month-long saga which began in April last year when their family company running Tropical Fruit world at Duranbah sought to provide its fruit-packing workers with a new shed.

It is understood the new building would have replaced a 30-year-old shed on the property and helped the company win the latest certification from the major retailers it deals with.

But with the council's processing of the application dragging on, somebody went ahead with footings and steel framework which were spotted by a council officer the week before Christmas.

At last Tuesday's council meeting councillors voted to issue a penalty notice for $600 for “the unauthorised building works of a fruit-processing and packaging shed.”

Council planning officers reported an application had been received by Group 4 Architects for the shed and other building work on the property owned by Mr Brinsmead and his daughter Judith at Duranbah on April 24.

The application sought approval for a fruit-processing and packaging shed, new amenities building and an awning on the front of the existing fruit shop.

The application was advertised for 14 days in May.

In the following months council officers say they continued to seek further information for matters such as an investigation on whether the land is contaminated, details of an on-site sewerage management and a water management plan.

Yesterday Mr Brinsmead declined to comment on the shed, saying he was retired and not been involved with the matter. He understood his daughter Judith had used highly reputable professionals to handle the project.

Council officers said the property owners and applicant had complied with a request in December to immediately cease work with a letter received from them on Christmas Eve.

On January 30 the council granted building consent.

Officers said the proposed shed would be 15 metres by 45.66 metres and seven metres high. It would also have a 6-metre by 15-metre awning and parking space for nine cars.

A mezzanine level inside the shed would provide a lunch room and office.

Staff amenities, cool rooms, a pawpaw-ripening room, processing room, leaf and fruit-drying room, freezer, processing room and fruit wash-down areas would be located on the ground floor.

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