Property manager fined for illegal development, hitting council inspector with shovel

A local woman has been fined almost $115,000 over an unauthorised development on Rachel Street, Murray Bridge.

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A property manager has been fined almost $115,000 for erecting a building without approval and hitting an inspector with a shovel.

Holly Anne Louise Shires was sentenced in the Environment, Resources and Development Court on September 4 for the unlawful development of a property on Rachel Street, Murray Bridge.

She had placed an ATCO hut on the land and built a toilet block next to it; then rented out the property, pictured below, first as an office and then as a house.

In the process she disregarded two directions from the Murray Bridge council to stop the work and return the land to its natural state.

When a council inspector visited on September 20, 2018, she “struck (him) with a long-handled shovel across his buttocks”, according to Judge Michael Durrant.

She had previously been found guilty of four counts of undertaking development without approval, two counts of failing to comply with council directions and one of hindering or obstructing an authorised officer.

Judge Durrant recorded a conviction on each count, issued the fines and ordered her to pay the Murray Bridge council’s court costs.

“This offending goes to the heart of the legislative scheme set up to provide for the proper, orderly and efficient planning and development of this state,” he said.

“Ms Shires had knowingly and repeatedly ignored and disregarded the planning and building approval scheme that applies to development in South Australia.

“She must be held accountable to the community for her behaviour, and others in the community must be deterred from committing similar offences.”

The court heard that, since being found guilty in July, Ms Shires had removed the buildings from the land.

However, despite still not having council approval, she had allegedly gone ahead and put another transportable in their place.

Judge Durrant did not address those allegations, but took what he described as Ms Shires’ lack of remorse into account.

Photos: Tingey Injury Law Firm/Unsplash (top), Homely (bottom).