Houses 40cms apart delivers blow for Gold Coast couple’s dream home
An investigation is underway into how two dream homes on a canal estate on the Gold Coast were built just 40 centimeters apart.
The gap is so small that one of the houses in Coomera Waters is not finished because a builder cannot squeeze scaffolding between the buildings.
Kathy Morin and Devon Matsalla lodged a complaint with Gold Coast City Council, whose officers are now investigating.
The Gold Coast houses are built 40 centimeters apart. (A Current Affair)
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“It’s a dream we’ve been planning for years now, we’re so close,” said Morin.
“But then this issue rears its ugly head our way.”
The brand new house blocking their path is owned by their neighbor, Dreamworld CEO Greg Yong, whose first level juts out so far Morin and Matsalla will be able to touch it.
Kathy Morin and Devon Matsalla. (A Current Affairs) The two Gold Coast houses are very close. (A Current Affair)
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Matsalla said he was left “shocked and very confused” when he saw how close the two properties were.
A development application, approved by Gold Coast City Council, shows that upper floors must be set back by at least 2.5 meters from the neighboring property, unless the council approves.
“It was somehow approved by the chain, I don’t know how it was approved, our builder has no idea how it was approved,” Morin said.
The gap is so small that one of the houses in Coomera Waters is not finished. (A Current Affair)
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Yong was also surprised that his new property was accused of breaking the rules.
“We wouldn’t be able to build it if it wasn’t certified,” Yong said
The planning company employed by Yong recently submitted a retrospective ‘minor variation’ application to reduce the mandate reset, stating that the new build extension ‘will not undermine the amenity of the adjoining property’.
This application came just a day after Morin and Matsalla expressed their concerns in a meeting with Yong about the impact of construction.
“If it was a few centimeters, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but it prevents us from building our house, like it’s big, it’s not aesthetics,” Morin said.
Greg Yong. (A current case) The Gold Coast houses are built 40 centimeters apart. (A Current Affair)
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While most of the homes on this new estate at Coomera Waters are all built close together, with most blocks just 300 square metres, Matsalla believes that should not be an excuse for the upper level extension.
“If maybe they wanted a bigger house, then they need a bigger lot,” Matsalla said.
Yong says he is willing to help his neighbors at least finish their construction work by temporarily removing wooden slats so that scaffolding can be built around his upper floor.
“Our builder spoke to their builder three weeks ago and said we are happy to organize it so you can come up there,” said Yong.
Morin and Matsalla’s builder says no plans have been locked in and he is concerned about the additional costs incurred by scaffolding around the neighboring property.
An investigation is underway into how two dream homes on a canal estate on the Gold Coast were built just 40 centimeters apart. (A Current Affair)
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There will also be extra costs for a firewall, which is necessary because of how close the two houses are.
Now there is little room for maneuver for the Canadian couple, with the building halted for the past month.
“It’s heartbreaking,” says Morin.
“We put in all our money that we put in all the time, we’ve been waiting a long time,” she said.
A spokesman for the Gold Coast City Council confirmed it was currently investigating the complaint with Yong given until the end of February to respond.