Costly wait for couple

MONTHS of frustration and confusion over the future of her home has led a Claremont woman to write a personal letter to Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

Her case is just one of hundreds caught up in WA’s backlog of planning appeals and she was recently told by the minister’s office not to expect a decision for months.

But the woman, who does not wish to be identified, does not have this time available, as she hopes to bring a second adopted child into the family in the near future.

Government agencies must assess the living arrangements of the woman and her husband, making them even more anxious to hear the minister’s decision.

The saga started late last year when the couple submitted plans to the City of Claremont to move their small weatherboard house from the block and build a bigger family home in its place.

After owning the property for 11 years, the woman and her husband were informed for the first time that it was listed on the municipal heritage inventory, and their plans were knocked back in February.

It was then that the couple decided to take their case to the minister, who sent an adviser to assess the property and hear concerns from the couple and the council.

“The minister’s representative said the only heritage value on the house was the small wooden veranda and nothing else,” the woman said. “From there I thought it would just go through, but we are still waiting to hear. It is incredibly stressful. I don’t want to bring a child into a family that is not settled.”

The woman, who last year quit her job in the expectation she would stay home and oversee the building, said she was writing to Ms MacTiernan in the hope it may help get their case moved up the list.

“If not, I’d at least like to know where we stand, instead of being told it will be months,” she said.

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