• Swarup Dutta

Was Council Wrong?

Updated: Jul 27

Was Council engineers wrong this time?


Swarup, AuArchitecture Founder, was younger, self employed and took a huge risk. He bought this 3000sqm unsewered land. It could be a lemon or a really successful project. No one wanted the absolute waterfront block. Why? Council deemed the sloping block UNSAFE TO BUILD ON and not zoned for Residential use. It was overgrown with decades of neglect, had a hidden creek running into the ocean (!!) and Council advised it good for camping only- to watch the migrating whales in winter or the dolphins or yacht races- all great weekend past times! We were agisting our (the late) Tommy Smith trained and retired horse ( and half sister to SubZero) a few kilometres down. My young daughter was mad into horses then. It gave her the confidence to be where she is now- loving mother of three- lead Litigation Barrister, was even invited to tea with HRH the Queen and the late Prince Phillip while at Monash ( there she bumped into the late Gough Whitlam who was directly instrumental in making me a proud Aussie). At Monash, she debated with Universities around the world (still thinks Singapore were better debaters than Harvard), presented at all Parliaments bar WA and at the Hague, worked for Bracks and David Cameron (Obama said she had to be a Yank)..... and relaxing in Normandy as I write. Am I proud! After 2 years of logical architectural and planning submissions, underpinned by sound engineering computations to the Council - from their GM all the way down - a Planning Permit was "reluctantly" issued. The Land got rezoned to Residential; Swarup owner built his weekender beach house with 6m deep screw foundations, dewatering systems and other design solutions to mitigate any soil movement. Nothing moved! It's still standing and the next owner updated and sold for $5.1 million in April 2022.

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