12/01 Couple wins right to keep tiny house in backyard of larger Brisbane, Australia property

couple with baby inside of their tiny house

Inside the tiny house in the backyard of a larger Brisbane property.

In a landmark decision, the Queensland Building and Development Dispute Resolution Committee ruled tiny homes with wheels should be treated like caravans and thus do not require a building permit.

Lara Nobel and Andrew Carter were facing the prospect of having to move following a complaint from a neighbour and a decision by the Brisbane City Council that their tiny home required a building permit to stay on site.

“It’s not a fixed structure so you can’t get a building approval for it,” Ms Noble said.

The pint-sized house, measuring a compact 18 square metres of floor space, comes with a self-composting toilet and a demountable deck — all of which can be moved within a few hours as it sits on a registered trailer.

The couple built and designed their home, and have been living at their current address for about seven months.

A month ago, they were joined by baby daughter, Charli.

Mr Carter said it was a huge relief to know they could stay.

“This is one of the very few ways we can achieve home ownership anywhere near the city in a way that suits us,” he said.
ESC Consulting environmental planner Rikki Pieters, who helped the couple with their appeal, said the decision was a significant win for this type of housing model.

“If you required the tiny house on wheels to have a building permit, basically you would be attaching that dwelling to the land and you would need to go through the planning process similar to if it was a granny flat or a secondary dwelling,” she said.

Brisbane may soon change the rules

But there is still a legal hitch — in Queensland it is not always legal to live inside a caravan in a backyard.

“On the Gold Coast they prohibit it, in Moreton Bay Regional Council you can do it but there are a lot of rules that you need to follow,” Ms Peters said.

Read more and watch the video – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-01/couple-wins-right-to-keep-tiny-house-in-brisbane-backyard/8082950

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Elaine Walker

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