SW locals view litigation as the next development

ONE of WA’s favourite holiday towns could become a legal battlefield as people fight for views of the Indian Ocean.

In one recent court battle, Christopher Dermer and Lorraine Lingard succeeded in taking out an injunction preventing Stephanie Fullarton from building a house to the west and below their Elsegood Avenue properties in Yallingup. Locals are referring to it as the Fullarton block case.

There is at least one major planning appeal pending – over the Surfside development to be built behind Yallingup’s old caravan park.

Legal battles over views are likely to become more common as people try to make the most of their South West holdings.

Shire of Busselton CEO Michael Swift said pressure was mounting on the area as more people tried to claim their piece of the South West.

“People’s building aspirations are increasing down here,” he said.

“At the same time there is a fair bit of concern from locals who want to maintain the town the way it was.”

Mr Swift said other South West towns, such as Eagle Bay, were facing similar problems.

In the Fullarton block case, Mr Dermer and Ms Lingard claimed the Fullarton house would block their views of both the ocean and Sugar Loaf Rock.

They also argued that the house was being built further up the slope than should be allowed by the Residential Codes, which stipulate the building should be set back six metres from the rear boundary. The Fullarton building is set back just 1.7 metres.

Construction already had been halted in January by an injunction that expired on February 5.

Mr Dermer and Ms Lingard sought a further injunction so they could seek advice from planning expert Ken Adam.

Supreme Court Justice Christopher Pullin agreed the plaintiffs had made a sufficient case for a further injunction to be granted.

However, he said in his judgement that the plaintiffs would need to answer a point raised by Shire of Busselton statutory planner Andrew Dykstra, who said even if the building was set back six metres it would still obstruct the views – although somewhat less.

“There is no absolute right to a view,” Justice Pullin said.

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