News

Rickie and his road are poles apart

By James Bennett

Nobody was more excited to be a first home-buyer than Rickie Jager — but a light pole in the middle of his driveway could leave him with an estimated $12 000 headache.

Since moving into his Kinchega Dve, Shepparton home 12 months ago, the single father-of-two hasn't been able to use his driveway.

Mr Jager said he and the designer agreed on the designs for a new house, which didn't include the light pole in its current location.

He said those plans were approved by council and he was unaware a light pole was going to be installed.

“I went to (the architect) after buying the land and they drew up plans,” he said.

“The light pole was never there in the plans.”

Council infrastructure director Phil Hoare said the light pole was installed "well before" construction started and supplied a satellite image to The News.

But Mr Jager said it was too late and costly to change the designs and there was no option but for the house to be built with a light pole on the nature strip.

He said the pole appeared three months after he bought the land.

“I had put all my money into the land at that point to get the build going; I didn't have the money (to change the designs),” Mr Jager said.

“The house was about to get the slab poured when they installed the pole.”

A Powercor spokesperson said: "Powercor designed and installed streetlights for the estate on behalf of the council, in line with the approved council subdivision plans.

“When we installed the light, no driveway existed and the proposed area where the driveway was to cross over to the public roadway was located 11 metres away.”

Mr Jager also said the pole was damaged by an unknown cause more than six months ago when it started leaning to one side.

He said when Powercor came to straighten it he was told it would not be moved unless he agreed to pay.

Council and Powercor both said they would be happy to discuss what options were available with Mr Jager.