Murray resident cops fine for storing materials in rural zone

A Murray landowner copped a $22,000 fine and $1331 in legal costs after failing to comply with the requirements of the Shire’s planning scheme.

The Barragup resident was found guilty of the unauthorised storage of materials on their ‘special rural’ zoned property by the Mandurah Magistrates Court.

The court agreed that the scale of material being stored, much of which was disused, had resulted in a detrimental impact on the amenity of the local area and was not an appropriate land use in the zone.

“The Shire always attempts to work with landowners to avoid formal compliance action being undertaken,” Shire of Murray chief Dean Unsworth said.

“In circumstances where landowners are not prepared to work with the Shire to resolve an issue, formal action inevitably results.

“This can lead to significant fines and costs that may have otherwise been avoided.”

Mr Unsworth said the Shire hoped this case would highlight the importance of obtaining the necessary approvals and the importance of working with the Shire where an issue is raised.

According to the Shire of Murray, special rural lots are larger than suburban lots, having a bigger capacity to store materials.

However, they reminded residents that storage of materials should not exceed a normal domestic level, particularly where the storage results in a loss of amenity for neighbours or impacts the environment.

If residents are unsure of their obligations in relation to the types of land uses that can be undertaken on their property, they can contact the Shire’s Planning and Environment Services team on 9531 7777.