Feud over council built crossover costs Cottesloe couple hundreds of thousands of dollars
A COTTESLOE couple have been left flabbergasted by a three-year legal fight with the council over a driveway - that has set them back hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And now, in the words of homeowner Kate Moore, the council is trying to use the ratepayer cash she and her husband contribute to, to fight them over the bizarre wrangle.
The issue with the driveway goes back to June 2015 with Mrs Moore and her husband Adrian submitted plans to the council for their multi-million dollar home.
Cottesloe Council approved the couple’s plans, which included the correct elevation of the driveway.
A few months later however, the council proposed sharing the steep crossover with their future neighbours up the hill.
Despite pleas from the couple to not build the crossover, before the construction of the house, the council proceeded to build the crossover - which is 60 centimetres too high, resulting in a dangerous drop.
"This just shouldn't happen," Mrs Moore told Today Tonight.
"As you can see it's impassable by vehicle and quite dangerous even on foot.
"The simple fact is the town had our house plans, they approved our house plans, we've shown the levels that the driveway would have to be and they went and built this contrary to those levels.
“We asked them not to, we warned them not to, they did it anyway."
The battle dragged on until October last year, when the council finally agreed to fix the mistake.
Council minutes from February this year, show they even discussed amending the budget by $100,000 to fix it.
But three months later, the eyesore remains.
"The council has subsequently voted to fix it and voted money into the budget to pay for fixing it and they are now not doing it and they are attempting to make us pay for it," Mrs Moore added.
The latest twist in the debacle being associated costs with the changes.
The council says underground cables will have to be moved and that the Moores should foot the bill.
The cost? Telstra has quoted $104,000.
"The services need to be relocated and they should pay for it, we did not do this," Mrs Moore said.
"We have not been told when it's going to be fixed. There's no correspondence from their lawyer. None of the councillors will meet with us, nobody will talk with us so I don't know where we're at."
But as the dispute escalates, so do the legal fees.
"It's a double whammy, as resident ratepayers we're expected to pay legal fees and then the town is using our ratepayers money to pay legal fees to fight us and try and make us pay for fixing their mistake."
Cottesloe council released a statement with regards to the ongoing saga.
It reads: "The Town has offered to pay for the removal of the existing crossover, to refund Mr Moore's bond, as well as engineering, design and permit fees, however the cost of lowering the services (to allow a new crossover to be built) has always been the responsibility of the Moores."
The council added it is continuing to work with the couple to resolve the issue of access.