Making a Complaint

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What do I do if I have a complaint or concerns about building works or a development site?

Council understands that construction and development can sometimes cause concerns or inconvenience for those who live in close proximity to a building site.

The most common concerns about development can often be avoided through early and regular communication and co-operation. Discuss your concerns with the property owner and bring it to their attention. Sometimes they may be unaware that their activities are causing nuisance or are a breach of legislation.

If this is not an option or the issue can’t be resolved, any complaints in relation to the building works or a development site should be referred to the Principal Certifier (PC) in the first instance. The PC will have the most association and familiarity with events occurring on the site and may be able to effectively resole the complaint without the need for enforcement. The details of the PC can usually be found on a sign at the front of the development site.

If you are still unsure who the PC is please contact Council’s Customer Service on 9879 9400. Any correspondence received by Council where Council is not the PC will be referred to the PC to investigate and respond to.

Can or When do Council act on complaints?

When a complaint is made to Council about a development for which they are not the Principal Certifier (PC) the complaints/questions are referred to the PC for a response/action.

Council will only act on complaints received in relation to building works and development sites if:

  • Urgent matters such as danger to life or property or a significant breach of the development consent or legislation
  • The works may not form part of the development consent
  • The PC refuses to take action and a breach is occurring
  • The PC takes action on a breach and Council is subsequently informed that the direction has not been complied with
  • Council is the PC

How does Council act on Complaints?

Council is committed to resolving complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible and in a timely manner. All complaints are to be made in writing to Council with photographic evidence if necessary to explain the areas of concern.

However, the length of time taken to deal with a complaint will depend on the circumstances of each complaint, such as the complexity of issues in the complaint, the time required to obtain the necessary information and complete an investigation if required, and the availability of the parties.

In the event that Council does find that action is warranted, there are enforcement powers available to us such as a Notice of Intention to issue Development Control Orders (stop work orders).

Please note that the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 provides that any person, including a resident, can commence court proceedings to remedy or restrict the breach of Act.  It remains a credible option for any resident to take that course of action, should they be unsatisfied with the steps that Council have taken.

What should I do if I have complaints about a private certifier?

Council do not regulate private certifiers. Any complaints about the professional conduct of a private certifier must be directed to the Building Professionals Board (BPB). The board has the ability to take disciplinary action should a certifier has been found to have engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.

More information on lodging a complaint about a certifier can be found on the BPB website.

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Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400
ABN: 75 570 316 011