ELPHINSTONE woman Cherylynn Quinn has been through more stress than most to become a home owner, and is still battling for occupancy.
Last year the shed she and her son spent a decade converting into a home was ruled unliveable under Bushfire Management Overlay requirements.
But a reprieve from the Department of Planning has now been finalised and Ms Quinn said this was a significant step in allowing her to stay at the property.
“It’s basically going to save us from being homeless,” she said.
“I’ve got to follow some building regulations and make changes regarding fire safety.
“But no one can kick me out for the next two years.”
As part of the planning amendment, Ms Quinn can live in her home, as long as she complies with Mount Alexander Shire’s planning arrangements.
The initial breach of the fire safety requirements resulted from the edge of her property being two metres too close to nearby bushland.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy said there was a need to restore “common sense” to the issue and he made an exemption to the bushfire planning controls.
Ms Quinn said she had raised the issue in August 2012 and had been living in limbo until now.
“It was extremely stressful,” she said.
“I didn’t know whether I was going to be homeless or not. My property was worth nothing.
“But I’m glad I stuck it out.
“I’ve done the long hard yards over the past
12 months. This is my home.”
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said there was still a long road ahead for Ms Quinn.
Ms Edwards said it was unfortunate the planning minister had taken so long to act and that the changes to the planning amendment were still not permanent.
“It’s a result with caveats over it,” she said.
“It’s been on the radar for the minister since August last year.
“He has finally taken notice and stepped in after a great deal of anguish on her part.”
Mount Alexander Shire chief executive Phil Rowland said it was still necessary for the property to meet requirements on bushfire standards and any applicable health and safety standards.
“Ms Quinn is encouraged to continue to work with council officers who will provide any clarification and assistance regarding the next steps” he said.
In the meantime, Ms Quinn said her focus would be on gaining a permanent certificate of occupancy.