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:
- The need for a drop edged beam (DEB) due to the slope
- 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:
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.
HOLD THE PRESS !!!
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.