Majestic 40 at Gardener's Ridge

building a Wisdom Majestic in North Kellyville

The North Kellyville Rain Garden


Remember back in the beginning when I explained that we had to have a rain garden and how I made a conscious decision to embrace it?


My exact words were ‘Since we have to have it I plan on making it a positive feature in the garden. ‘

Well just in time for Halloween it came back to haunt me.

It came back as more than a positive feature in the garden it was all but the back garden!

See Exhibit A: The concept storm water plan:


This was the first time we had seen our plans since the site was surveyed and the contours mapped. The two main issues that materialised were:

  1. The need for a drop edged beam (DEB) due to the slope
  2. The size, siting  and cost of the rain garden

For a minute I thought they had given us a spa pool by mistake judging by its size….

I had thought it would be tucked away in the bottom RHS unfortunately however we have a 1.5 metre easement running across the back of the garden (see the dotted line) and it must be at least half a metre away from any easement or boundary. The size of the raingarden is determined in your section 88B instrument.

[A section 88B instrument is the part of a deposited plan which upon land registration:

  • Creates easements, profit a prendre, restrictions on use of land, and positive covenants
  • Releases easements and profit a prendre]

A few phone calls to Wisdom and they endeavoured to re-site it, better but still too in your face especially since we’ve paid for an extra window in the Leisure area to enjoy the view of the garden…..

See Exhibit B:


Meanwhile I downloaded information off the Council website and tried to get up to speed on the design aspects of the raingarden in the hope that perhaps it was too big.

Exhibit C: Typical Raingarden plans & details

Exhibit D: Raingarden fact sheet

As they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing so armed with my new vocabulary of inter-allotment drainage pits, surge pits etc we beetled down to the Hills Shire Council offices to run it by the duty engineering officer. The good news is that Wisdom’s plan follows their guidelines, bad news for us is it still takes up too much of the garden.

So what makes up a raingarden I hear you ask?

Here’s how to make your own:

Raingarden diagram2

So that left us with a rather dominant compulsory feature that takes a large chunk out of the garden then combine that with the slope of our rear garden it all added up to a rather disheartened and disgruntled home owner to be.

Credit to Wisdom as the raingarden is not their problem but they endeavoured to try and find a solution that would make us happier. To that end we met the next day with their chief landscaper and an engineer and they came up with an excellent solution. It involves moving the 3000 litre rainwater tank to the LHS behind the study, creating a square raingarden that fits where we had ear-marked a flower bed behind the pool to be and voila we have a useable back lawn and garden. Let’s hope CDC approve it.

The only thing that hasn’t changed is the price which at $7K came back at twice the provisional allowance. To add salt to the wound it doesn’t include the plants which are rather a key component of the whole concept….

Alternatively, if we could scrap the raingarden, we could go down to our local Bunnings DIY store and $7K would have bought us 3 x 4000 litre slimline steel tanks at approx $2K each and left change over for the sausage sizzle in the car park! That’s a heck of a lot of rainwater to flush the loos, run the washing machine or just water the garden.


Wisdom have contacted us to say there is still a problem regarding the siting of the house and raingarden because of the slope on our land. The best solution to give us the house and garden we would like and to satisfy Council requirements for the raingarden appears to be a split level construction instead. Ouch! That raingarden is getting more expensive by the minute.

So we are back off to Head Office tomorrow for another meeting to hopefully tie it all together.




Author: lunar62

Having lived here as a child in the 60's I fell in love with Australia and always hoped to one day be able to visit again. So when the opportunity came to move here with my husband's job we decided nothing ventured nothing gained and decided to go for it even though it was hard to leave our family and friends behind in the UK. So now we're here lock, stock and barrel, children and pets too and embarking on building a new home.

11 thoughts on “The North Kellyville Rain Garden

  1. Faaaar out, so the rainwater garden is really a means of the Council persuading you to install the rainwater collection tank, but at the same time to have a means of handling any overflow from the tank in a green fashion so the overflow from the tank isn’t filling up the council’s stormwater drains (or eroding your garden into their stormwater drains). Would they know if you cheated and put in soakwells to handle the overflow, then planted an appropriate-looking but unrelated garden on top? With 3 blokes and you plus visitors flushing the loos and doing your washing, will there be much overflow from a 30kL tank? So glad we just have the wall cracks to contend with …….


    • You have hit the nail on the head!

      There will be a Raingarden Inspector from the council who has access to inspect your property and issue improvement notices.
      When driving around we have seen some very sad overgrown looking ones. I’ve also read about some of them not actually coping very well with the storm water which is why I’m trying so hard to build it correctly in the first place.
      Alas our tank is 3000 not 30000 litres – that’ll be the pool 🙂

      I wonder what quirks the new builds in WA have to contend with.

  2. Ergh! I don’t envy you. Complicated. Good luck.

  3. Thanks Johanne I think we’ll need it 🙂

  4. Hi Lunar62

    Just reading your blog, very helpful. We are looking at building in this area. Just wondering how much all your site costs including the BAL extras and rain garden have cost you. Need some idea for costings / budget. I also note that the rain garden is to be 13.29sqm . Any advice would be grateful.

    • Hi Linda,

      I think I’ll need a stiff drink before telling you the costs involved 🙂

      We now call it the money pit not the rain garden! OK here goes:
      * Cost of rain garden for 13.29 sqm = $5800. (They price matched a neighbour who was under quoted). However this does not include the plants or rocks. Your 88b tells you the size you need. Still an outrageous sum….
      * Heron block retaining wall for rain garden = $3950. We have a bit of a slope so we are going split level with the rear of the house lower and raising the garden.
      * RHS & LHS Baines split face retaining walls = $13510. RHS will retain rain garden.
      * BAL 12.5 measures = $3270
      * BAL 12.5 aluminium flyscreens with aluminium flymesh ( x 27) = $1350
      * BAL 12.5 diamond screen sliding & stacking flydoors with .316 SS flymesh & triple lock (x3) = $2545
      * BAL 12.5 upgrade front & balcony doors to Merbau to match fire resistant merbau frames = $890
      * site costs:
      + H1 Class slab = $2950
      + Recycle water connection = $1460
      + saline affected soil = $3200 – this does not include bricks as we chose exposure grade bricks from Wisdom’s standard range.
      + bricks to replace all cladding. includes bricks and support beams = $6600

      I hope this helps you, each builder is different when it comes to site costs though. Who are you building with?

      • Hi
        Thanks for that info. God that is ridiculous. We are looking at MDJ Miami. Still waiting for our tender to come back. We are still in our cooling off period with the land, weighing up our options. So frustrating. I just don’t know what to do. Build or buy established.

      • The MDJ Miami looks very nice. I like the his ‘n’ hers WIRs and the kitchen, pantry, store layout. At least once you get your tender back you get a clearer idea of the costs. Then at least you have some idea before your colour appointments. Do MDJ do any landscaping?

      • Not sure yet, it is like secret men’s business. We have built previously approx. 13years ago, but I find it is like extracting teeth getting any info. Hopefully in the coming days we will know better where we sit. thanks

  5. Hey! Ours is in a terrible location, but the drains and pipes have already been done !! I’m looking for a blog that can tell me how to move it! How did things turn out for you ?

    • Hi Jessie,

      Unfortunately I haven’t found a blog that tells you how to move it.

      I don’t know where you are based but the Hills Shire Council website has fact sheets and info on it. I ended up using that info and then getting my landscaper and plumber to change it. I’m pleased how it’s turned out in the end and that it does actually function properly too. The only downside of changing it is the extra cost involved.
      Did the builder put it where it was supposed to be on the plans because if they didn’t you could get them to move it for you?
      Good luck!

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