Colourful West Wollongong resident Julius Kudrynski has been accused of flouting Wollongong City Council planning laws amid claims at least five structures on his property have been erected without proper approvals.
The one-time Wollongong lord mayor hopeful yesterday fronted the NSW Land and Environment Court in Sydney to defend accusations that he failed to secure council permission to construct boundary fencing, sheds, a cubby house and a carport extension at his Highway Avenue property between 1988 and 2000.
The court heard neighbours had repeatedly complained to the council about ad-hoc development and excessive "rubbish" on the site, prompting staff to investigate the property early last year.
The Kudrynskis failed to comply with subsequent orders to demolish several "unauthorised" structures and pull down oversized fencing, prompting the council to take the couple to court.
Sydney barrister Rick O'Gorman-Hughes, acting for the council, described the site as an "eye-sore", saying it was in the interests of neighbouring residents to get the property cleaned up.
"There are safety issues and fire issues," he said of the site's current state, adding there was also concern that the build-up of "rubbish" might attract vermin.
Mr O'Gorman-Hughes also claimed Mr Kudrynski knew he needed development consents for each of the structures but had failed to obtain them.
But Mr Kudrynski, who represented himself in the proceedings, argued that some of the buildings could be classified as exempt from needing approval under state planning laws.
He also maintained he did have consent for two of the structures- a loft-style ensuite at the rear of the home and an extension to the carport. However Mr O'Gorman-Hughes countered the claim, saying none of the current approvals covering the property mentioned an upstairs ensuite or carport extension.
As part of the case, Mr O'Gorman-Hughes presented to the court a video recording of an ABC television interview with Mr Kudrynski late last year, when he said he had 500 fan belts and more than 100 lawn mowers, chainsaws and wood planers on the property.
During cross-examination yesterday, Mr Kudrynski admitted he exaggerated in the report and revised the numbers to approximately 200 fan belts, 15 lawn mowers, a dozen chainsaws and about 10 planers. He said he did not consider the amount of items excessive.
Mr Kudrynski also rejected the council's claims that much of what was on the property was "rubbish", saying the materials reflecting his hobbies, which included welding and construction.
While Justice Terry Sheahan has reserved his judgement until a later date, he did allow the council to submit for consideration draft orders that would give the Kudrynskis six months to demolish the non-complying structures and clean up the property.