Josh Barham met Governor-General Quentin Bruce last year when he won the Maryborough Regional Electrical Apprentice of the Year but he’s even more excited at the news he can build his house.
Josh Barham met Governor-General Quentin Bruce last year when he won the Maryborough Regional Electrical Apprentice of the Year but he’s even more excited at the news he can build his house.

Joshua permitted to build home

JOSHUA Barham’s victory in convincing the council to finally give him permission to build his home on a vacant block of land in Maryborough happened after the council sought “independent advice from a third party”.

The Chronicle published Joshua’s happy news yesterday, having asked the council on Monday for a response to the news of 20-year-old Joshua’s turnaround in fortune. He learned last week the council had changed its decision to allow him to build on the 1200sqm block at 24 Sydney Street.

“Following the refusal by the Fraser Coast Regional Council to approve a residential dwelling on the block, the applicant sought a meeting with senior staff,” a council spokesman wrote in an email on Monday afternoon.

“At that meeting the council agreed to refer the application to build a residential dwelling on flood-prone land to the State Department of Emergency Services for advice.

“The department is not normally a referral agency for development applications, but because of the history of the land and the outcome of other applications in the street, council asked for independent advice from a third party.

“Based on advice from the department, that it did not object to the development, the council agreed to allow Mr Barham to lodge a fresh application, which was approved subject to normal conditions placed on buildings in flood prone areas.

“When dealing with applications of this type, the council must give due regard to natural hazards, such as flooding, to ensure residents or emergency service staff are not put at risk.”

Meanwhile Josh is busily planning to get in the footings for his house as early as next week.

In response to our story yesterday council said it should also be noted that Councillor Gerard O’Connell’s only role in the process was to seek further information from officers about the original application and to facilitate a meeting between the Barhams and senior Council staff.

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