Fennell Bay’s Peter Buckley in his barbecue area the council has ordered be taken down.FENNELL Bay’s Peter Buckley loves his barbecue so much he is ready to spend $35,000 to keep it.
Nanjing Night Net

That is the legal bill he is facing to fight Lake Macquarie City Council in the Land and Environment Court over an order to remove his barbecue and surrounding pergola.

‘‘I just love my barbecue,’’ Mr Buckley said.

‘‘It brings people together.’’

Mr Buckley said the council was seeking to ‘‘take away a lifestyle’’.

‘‘Come and watch the council wrecking ball if they come to demolish my barbie because I’ll be tied to it,’’ he said.

The Newcastle Herald reported on Saturday the council had ordered the demolition of a carport built by Matt McKinlay, of Barnsley, because it had been built ‘‘forward of the building line, is out of character with the streetscape and non-compliant with the Building Code of Australia’’.

Mr Buckley’s barbecue came to the council’s attention after Mr Buckley applied to build a new house on his Macquarie Road land.

He spent about $25,000 three years ago to build the stainless steel outdoor barbecue with a pergola, pavers and furniture on his land, which adjoins LT Creek.

A professional builder did the work, but did not gain council approval.

Mr Buckley said council staff asked him to retrospectively apply for a building certificate.

He spent $10,000 on a surveyor, engineer, draftsman and council fees to prepare the necessary documentation, but the council refused his application.

‘‘I got a phone call from council saying I had to pull it down because it was within the foreshore building line,’’ he said.

Mr Buckley said the council refused to supply documents that show the foreshore building line and referred him to the Land and Environment Court.

A council statement said the property was subject to a foreshore building line of 14metres.

A foreshore building line is a line set by planners on land fronting any bay, river, creek, lake, lagoon, harbour or ocean.

‘‘The pergola and a shed extension have been erected within that foreshore building line,’’ the statement said.

‘‘Foreshore development may only be carried out with development consent.’’

Mr Buckley said many other nearby residents had structures within the foreshore building line, including houses and ‘‘20 or so barbecue pergolas closer to the creek than mine’’.