Council decides not to take action over Engadine development advertising sign

Adrian Hayward in front of the "offending'" advertising sign in Old Princes, Highway, Engadine. Picture: Chris Lane
Adrian Hayward in front of the "offending'" advertising sign in Old Princes, Highway, Engadine. Picture: Chris Lane

Sutherland Shire Council has decided not to take action over a large sign for a new development at Engadine even though the size breaches regulations for advertisements.

The council told the Leader the sign was temporary and the alternative was a plain hoarding plywood, which often attracted graffiti vandals or bill posters.”

Engadine resident Adrian Hayward received varying earlier responses after complaining about the sign, measuring about three metres by 1.8 metres, opposite his home unit  in Old Princes Highway.

Mr Hayward informed the council in August the sign was in breach of advertising rules.

A compliance officer replied to his email, saying there were no approvals in place for such signage and the developer had been asked to remove it by the end of the week.

“I will be monitoring and following this up should I not get compliance,” the officer advised.

When no action followed, Mr Hayward emailed again, but found the officer was on leave.

The acting development compliance supervisor informed him the matter has been referred to the council’s building regulation supervisor and manager environment, health and building.

He was told the two officers had determined that “given the sheer volume of development sites” in the shire  it “would be considered onerous to target this particular site without pursuing enforcement action for the remainder of the shire”.

“It is envisaged that should council pursue enforcement / legal action, that it would be a timely and costly exercise to pursue the matter, given the small scale of the nature of the matter,” the email stated.

“The signage is in line with the height of the hoarding erected on site and is not considered excessive in its nature or out of character given the volume of development within Sutherland Shire.

“As a result of this determination council will not be taking any further action in relation to the matter.”

Mr Hayward told the Leader he thought other ratepayers would be as surprised as he was at the council’s approach to the matter.

”This seems to be another instance of where developers are allowed to run roughshod over residents,” he said.. 

Mr Hayward said, “as a consequence of the council’s apparent apathy and lack of action” another large sign, advertising the services of a contractor on the site, had been added.

A council spokeswoman told the Leader, “Following a complaint relating to illegal signage, council staff attended the site and found that the signage had been incorporated into the site safety fence (Type A Hoarding)”.

“As the signage is temporary and advises resident as to the type of works that are occurring on site, a decision was made to allow the temporary sign to remain,” she said.

“The alternative to hoarding signage is raw or painted plywood which often attracts graffiti or unauthorised bill posters.”