AN 82-year-old grandmother is set to press charges against her grand-daughter and her partner over a demolished shed that could see her left with a council fine.
“As much as she is my grand-daughter she needs to learn a lesson,” says Dawn Taylor.
In what’s turned out to be a messy family affair involving three generations, asbestos and illegal demolition, Ms Taylor faces the fine despite having done nothing wrong.
In 2011, Ms Taylor’s grand-daughter and boyfriend had been living in a Bayswater house owned by the girl’s father Neil Taylor when they were granted council permission to demolish an asbestos shed and replace it with a bigger one.
Ms Taylor says the pair never told Mr Taylor, living in Queensland, nor her, about the change.
Bayswater council says back then, there was no legal obligation for an applicant to get the owner’s permission to demolish sheds – and therefore it was obliged to approve it.
But the grand-daughter says she did ask her nan’s permission: “Yeah, yeah, sure I did, I did,” she told the Voice, before saying she didn’t want to discuss it and hanging up.
Dawn Taylor had legal care of the Aughton Street property but, living in Dianella and with her grand-daughter as a tenant, she didn’t actively manage it.
Recently, her grand-daughter and boyfriend moved to the country and Mr Taylor, who’d returned from Queensland some time ago but was living elsewhere, went to the property to clean it up.
He was gobsmacked to find the replacement shed in pieces and about to be carted off: it turns out the pair had sold it.
The bloke who’d bought the shed had entered the property to disassemble it and cart it off.
Mr Taylor got in touch with his elderly mum and the pair negotiated to have the shed re-assembled, and they’d pay the bloke $5000 for his trouble. However, he later turned up with four others and removed the remaining bits of the structure anyway.
Ms Taylor told the Voice she called the police to have them removed for trespassing, but they had enough time to remove the shed completely.
She contacted the council to seek its assistance, but instead was given a work order to clean up the mess within 14 days or face a fine.
It turns out the asbestos shed was demolished improperly five years ago. “They didn’t send a health inspector in the first place when they demolished the shed and no-one cleaned up the asbestos,” Ms Taylor says.
She is angry the council issued the demolition permit: “They hide behind this bylaw that you don’t need to ask for permission of the owner,” she says. “All I get is ‘we didn’t do anything wrong’.
“But I have to pay for it from my pocket.
“I’ve spent three days here with the skip bin cleaning up,” she says of the rubble that’s been left behind. She also had to fork out to get an asbestos removal permit and pay qualified contractors to pack it up and take it away.
“I’ve worked in asylums in this area for 19 years and I had never seen such idiots as this,” she said of those responsible for leaving the asbestos lying around.
by MARTA PASCUAL JUANOLA