Central Coast News
Sydney Council Battles Aussie Icon
The humble caravan; an iconic staple in Australian housing and accommodation dating back decades. Back in the 70’s and 80’s a caravan out the back was about as common as a tin of milo in the cupboard, you just couldn’t beat the Aussie dream.
That’s exactly what the Russell family had in mind when they bought a VanHome, a legally registered caravan that looks like a cabin. Their local council, however, had a different view; issuing an Order for the family to remove the caravan immediately.
George and Korena Russell live in a 3 bedroom home in Sydney's South West, with their 3 adult children and their partners. They purchased the VanHome for additional accommodation, on the basis that this particular product did not need council approval.
The VanHome, priced at just under $50,000 contains a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen – the perfect solution for the family. “When we were issued with an Order from Camden Council to remove it, we were devastated and had no idea what to do,” said Mrs Russell.
CEO of VanHomes, Vito Russo, caught wind of the perplexing request made by the governing body, and immediately offered his assistance and legal support.
“We’re a family business with family values. Having the option for the family to stay close to each other, whether it be the younger generation saving for their own home or for elderly folk to downsize without going to a retirement home should be everyone’s right”, Mr Russo said.
This sparked a David vs Goliath style battle, with the LEC ultimately ruling that the Russell family were well within their right to keep the VanHome caravan in their backyard.
Senior Commissioner Dixon said in her judgement, “There can be no doubt that the structure is a caravan used for human habitation and thereby within the definition of a moveable dwelling.”
“On that basis, there is no need for any development approval for the registered caravan on the site and the order issued by the council … requiring the removal of the structure from the premises, is invalid.”
In response to the judgement, Mr Russo said, “we couldn’t be any happier with the outcome. This (judgement) gives clarity on where and how a VanHome caravan can be used. This, in turn will open up a plethora of opportunity for Australians looking to break into the property market, or downsize out of it.”
The ruling is a huge win for all New South Welshman, and a step in the right direction for all Australians; with the decision essentially saying “yes you can site a product that is legally a caravan without any council approval”.
VanHomes is an Australian, family-run business hailing from the sunny Central Coast of NSW. VanHomes reflects and creates family connectedness in all aspects, by providing fast and affordable accommodation solutions to everyday Australians.
This article archived 20 Jun 2018
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