Court orders BBQ be knocked down

Peter Buckley’s barbie has hit a snag, with the Land and Environment Court ordering that the lavish Fennell Bay construction be knocked down within two months.

Mr Buckley had the pergola and stainless steel outdoor barbie built about four years ago on the shores of LT Creek.

When Lake Macquarie City Council recently discovered the building, which adjoins an old boat shed, it ordered Mr Buckley to have the pergola and barbecue knocked down.

Mr Buckley travelled home from India, where he works, to host a site inspection last month, but commissioner Bob Hussey confirmed the council’s decision to have the structure dismantled.

Mr Buckley has been given 60 days to do so.

The council disapproved of the pergola because it was built within 14 metres of the waterline even though the council gave approval 14 years ago for Mr Buckley to replace the old boat shed, part of which was within the 14 metres.

Mr Buckley previously told the Newcastle Herald that he was being unfairly targeted.

‘‘This is about being singled out,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s about being able to do what you want in your own backyard.

‘‘If we can’t use 14 metres of our backyard, should we be paying rates on it?’’

Commissioner Hussey also ordered the council to issue a building certificate for the boat shed.

‘‘Council’s main contention concerns the encroachment of the pergola into the [waterline] area,’’ commissioner Hussey said.

‘‘[The council] is prepared to allow the encroachment of the boat shed/garage to remain.’’

Commissioner Hussey noted that an aerial photograph tendered to the court showed that the only significant structure close to the waterline on that section of LT Creek was Mr Buckley’s pergola.

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