08. 2000 – Was no concern

Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.

As part of the DA process, tenant Grant gives Council a report showing structural problems in the side wall at 39 Glebe Point Road and Voukelatos tells agent Ketas that Grant has “raised a hornet’s nest with Council” with this new report.

Owner complains to the Council that two notices, an “Emergency Order” and a “Notice of Proposed Order”, have taken 30 days to reach them and that “we have lived permanently in Greece for the last 10 years & have not seen our property since 1990”.

He claims that in 1990 there had been “no concern” raised by Council about the southern wall and asks for further time to rectify the problems with the wall and apply to have both orders lifted.

1. Structural inadequacy
2. Hornets’ nest over the Council
3. Was no concern

1. Structural inadequacy

Mr Grant states that the engineer who provided the 1990’s report told him that the structural deficiency within the sidewall was pointed out in his earlier report and that no records are available as to the repair of this wall. He also states that he should not be held responsible for the structural inadequacy of someone else’s property.

23.03.00 Mr Grant to Mr Ketas IH 1-6, 344-9

“As per our telephone conversation earlier today please find as follows.

Our immediate problem we are faced with is the concern Council has with the structural state of the building. Bellow is a brief summery of my inspection of the property. After our submission was made and accepted by Council I engaged an architect and structural Engineer. This was on Nov 1999.

The Engineer’s Report regarding with the first floor floors, brickwork above door opening was relayed to yourself. Your reply was that the building was in good order. This Engineer Report was only a preliminary Report as no lease was entered.

A secondary and more comprehensive inspection and Report was required to submit to Council together with architect plans. Upon receipt of this report, a copy of which was forwarded to you. You assured me that structural work had previously been carried out on the property. A copy of a Report was later forwarded to me.

On following up on this Report the Engineer who provided it told me that in his earlier Report he pointed out the structural deficiency within the (…illegible…) boundary wall. No records are available as to the repair of this wall. This is come out by the current Report provided by Barry Smith Bateman & Assoc. We entered into the Lease in good faith and all monies been paid as per the Lease. Council will not consider our application until the structural aspects of the building have been addressed. I believe that I should not be held responsible for the structural adequacy of someone else’s property however at the moment anything regards our application is at a stand still.

I have honored my obligations and paid all monies due.

I believe I am way hard done by as I would expect that any property leased should be structurally adequate.

I would appreciate you following this up with the Owner and advising me of the out come.

I believe there should always be two parties to any satisfactory agreement. At the moment I am the only one that exists is me by paying rent for a property that the Council won’t conceder an application on the basis of the structural inadequacy.

Yours faithfully
Jack Grant”

2. Hornets’ nest over the Council

Mr Voukelatos states that the B.S.B. report was unfavourable and resulted in him obtaining the Council’s notices that have onerous consequences for them as Owners. He also states that he is sure that if Mr Keats had known about the report he would have tried to advise the Lessee not to bring it before the Council.

28.03.00 Mr Voukelatos to Mr Ketas II 1, 350

“Thanks for sending Mr Grant’s letter dated 19/2/00 discussing this I would like you to read the attached letter which I sent to Leichhardt Council by-email which is self explanatory & connected with Jack problem. Firstly, why did Jack keep his letter for over a month before sending it to you on 23/3/00? 

It would appear they Jack has raised a hornets nest over the Council. The Report he obtained from B. Smith Bateman & Ass. Pty. Ltd. & dated 28/2/00 was unfavourable & I am surprised why he used it towards his application for a D.A when he should have known that Council would not have been impressed (to say the least) & the Report has resulted in me obtaining the said notices, which have onerous consequences on us as Owners of the property. Have you seen the Bateman Report before he gave it to Council? Please let me know because I am sure you would not have kept me in the dark if you had known about the Report & would have tried to advise Jack not to bring it before Council. (see next page)”

3. Was no concern

Mr Voukelatos states to Leichhardt Council that in 1990 there was no concern raised about the sidewall and it can be confirmed by Mr Mick Dolan, if he is still working for Council. He also states that they will urgently address the problem and take all necessary actions to see that both orders are lifted.

28.03.00 Mr Voukelatos to Leichhardt *DK 1, 164

“Today we were surprised to receive from Council two notices-one labeled “Emergency Order” and the other “Notice of proposed Order” regarding the abovementioned property. Both these notices were dated 22/2/00 and we are amazed why it has taken 30 days for us to receive them when a normal time for mail between Australia and our home in Greece is no more than a week.

We were at loss for words when we read these notices because we had no idea about this problem with the sidewall facing Dan Minogue Park. We have lived permanently in Greece for the last 10 years & have not seen our property since 1990.

Our agents L.J. Hooker in Glebe have not advised us of such a problem nor did the tenants who occupied the property before the present tenant Mr Jack Grant (Advanced Underpinning Pty. Ltd.) who entered into a lease on 28/1/00.

It appears that Mr Grant obtained a Report at his own request from Barry Smith Bateman & Associates Pty. Ltd. Which he used for his purpose in putting a development application before Council to use as a restaurant/café.

We have never seen this Report and are unaware of its contents. All we did was to consent for Mr Grant to make the necessary structural changes to the said property via opening a door on the wall facing the park which presumably help him to run his proposed restaurant/café business.

We will now ask to see this Report and to urgently address the problem & take all necessary actions to see that both orders are lifted.

Historically you will see from Council’s records that we had the whole of the front wall of the building facing Glebe Point Road demolished and rebuilt following a recommendation that such work be carried out by Phillip Johnson Consulting Engineer in 1990. However, at that time there was no concern raised about the south wall facing Minogue Park. Mr Mick Dolan will confirm this if he is still working for Council.

We request that for the reasons outlined above & the fact that we live in Greece you give us sufficient time to look into & rectify the problem with the wall. To avoid delay in the post I would be happy if you communicated me.”

“We will keep you advised of our progress.”