A stoppped clock

On the clock, tic tok..

Here is an update on my DA, for those with strong constitutions.

In the interests of honesty and forthrightness, which this blog is all about, I should note that my DA was rejected.


Yes, my DA was rejected by Council. “Holy bovine” I thought, that doesn’t happen much does it? What did I stuff up so majorly and how much will it cost me? The answers in the end were “often” and “nothing much”.

Apparently, according to those in the industry, in the old days if there was an issue with a drawing or two you’d get a call from Council and an opportunity to fix them up. These days the Councils are all “on the clock” to assess DAs, they are expected to process them within 40 days and each council is rated based on performance. That means it is now more likely the DA will be rejected; it then has to be fixed, and when it is resubmitted as a new application the clock starts again.

The fees paid on first application are held for 21 days and just transfer over to the new application so there is no additional cost in fees. The only cost in this case was fixing a few drawings, and a small risk of heart attack at the rejection news.

Why was it rejected? Well on good grounds apparently, but nothing too major. Memo to me, and anyone else taking on this sort of thing, car port elevations are required. I had included dimensions, model and materials, and location on the site plan, but that is not enough and front, rear and side elevation drawings are what is needed according to state regulations.

The other booboo was that the laundry was not shown on the floorplans. That was a small bone of contention as I had the laundry included on my own original floor plans, along with kitchen details, but both were omitted when the draftsman I hired did the final drawings. So I had to photoshop the final drawings and put the laundry back in.

So where are we at now? Well the DA was resubmitted within ten days of rejection, and the application was accepted this time. The clock was then stopped on the 10th September as Council wanted some details on how I was planning to use the loft outlined in my floor plans. I sent them the information within ten days again. Then I rang a week later to see if the clock had been restarted, but the assessor assigned to my DA was away for another week. When he got back he returned my call and left a message to say he had received my information and would look at it.

I just looked at the Council DA tracker site today (21st October), which is a very handy thing where you can track the progress of your application online, and it looks like the clock is still stuck. There is a little green line showing that the clock was stopped back in early September, and the line currently seems to continue to infinity. I don’t like that little line.

I have no idea why the clock appears to be jammed, I haven’t received any more questions from Council. So there is a mystery block of four weeks where time appears to have stood still, which I’m hoping to get more information on soon.

I’ll let you know when I have more news.

(Blog feature pic, of the old clock that’s not moving anymore, was taken from here)


8 thoughts on “On the clock, tic tok..”

  1. omg Kellie…you need the patience of Job! The frustrations of bureaucracy are so enormous. I have no doubt that you’ll get there and will have everything crossed to have that little green line light and get going xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh am I glad to have randomly stumbled upon your blog this morning! My husband and I have our first open house tomorrow to sell our house in Southwest Sydney, once this happens we plan to buy some land in the Blue Mountains and build a shipping container home! It’s so encouraging to see others doing this too. I would love to keep updated with your progress. Do you have a a fb page? Goodluck with the next stage.


    1. Hi Julie, thanks for the feedback. Sorry for the very slow reply, the DA delays have been taking so long I have been avoiding my own blog! No FB page I am afraid, but hopefully more news soon on this site. Best of luck with yours!


  3. Hi there, I have been reading your blog with loads of interest as my husband and I just sold our house in Southwest Sydney and plan to build a shipping container house in the Blue Mountains, also using Container Build Group!! I would love to keep in contact with you. If you have the time, I would love to hear from you via e mail (details below) and possibly share more information there. Thank you!!


    1. Hi again Julie, hope your project goes well! Happy to chat, will contact you by email. I am not using the Container Build Group, but there area few companies out there that build them now, I’d be interested to hear how they are to deal with. I had some early quotes from them and they were out of my budget, but that was before I had my wall structure sorted out I think and was asking a lot of my builders. Have you got land yet? If you can avoid a BAL Flame Zone your project will be much, much simpler. Best, Kellie


  4. Hi Kellie,
    Once your fabulous home is up and finished and you’ve had a looong holiday to get over the process would you consider offering a seminar or something similar for people wanting to take the same path as you have with building a shipping container home in the Blue Mountains? I’m keen to move there from Sydney myself but the homes in my price range are old and need a lot of work and I’d much rather have a nice new home designed to my specs and a shipping container home would suit me just fine. It’s so hard to find out any real info on the web and it would be great to talk to someone who knows all the practicalities from experience. Your blog is a great start and an inspiration but if you ever consider offering your experience to the public in an additional format I’m sure you would have a lot of interest and I would be the first to sign up! I’d be happy to pay well for your knowledge and experience and maybe you could include a tour or your finished house in the price if that is not too intrusive? Just a thought and it may be the last thing you feel like doing but please email me at highwood7@bigpond.com if such an opportunity ever arises. In any case I wish you all the best for the successful completion of your house.

    Kind regards,



    1. Hi Kathryn, thanks for your comment and yes that sounds like a great idea. Would be happy to share my research, it’s certainly been a long and complex road for this one but hopefully it will be simpler for others if they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. A friend said I should set up a consultancy, and was only half-joking I think 🙂 Anyway your ideas above sound good. The house prices in the mountains have gone crazy over the last 12 months so I know what you mean, I was originally looking at an old place to do up, but they’re not very affordable now, compared to building using this method.
      Kind regards


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