Bill Laforest bought a townhouse in The Escarpments complex near Katoomba Golf Club eight years ago so he and his wife could enjoy “peace and serenity” in retirement.
But the view from their front yard now resembles a rubbish tip.
A subsidiary of The Reed Group, which owns a nearby plot of undeveloped land, has been using the site as a “dumping ground” for large shipping containers since July 17.
The Reed Group confirmed the containers were being trucked there from the highway construction site between Woodford and Hazelbrook that Reed Constructions — placed into liquidation in July — ran before the NSW Government cancelled its contract and hired Abi Group.
Mr Laforest told the Gazette the shipping containers “are so big you could drive a car into them” and he felt frustrated Reed did not consult or even notify nearby residents or the council about its actions.
“It feels terrible — it makes my home look like it is in the back lots of Cairo rather than Katoomba,” said Mr Laforest.
“They’ve been brought in one by one by truck every week since July 17, mostly in the middle of the night or early in the morning, without anyone knowing about it.
“They arrive with the Reed logo on them but every now and then they get painted over in white, so maybe they are going to try to sell them.
“Its frustrating because I don’t know how long they will be here for, how many more are coming and whether or not they [Reed] is even allowed to put them there.”
Mr Laforest reported the matter to the council on August 10 and it began an investigation “to ascertain if the placement [of the containers] is permissible or if it is illegal dumping”.
When the Gazette visited the site last week there were nine very large shipping containers and one smaller container spread out across the block, less than 10 metres from a nearby row of units and about 15 metres from Mr Laforest’s front door.
On Monday morning the Gazette obtained a copy of an email from council’s development monitoring team that confirmed it had completed its investigation and requested the shipping containers be removed within 21 days or the council would “take further regulatory action”.
The document advised “council has looked into the matter and believe the storage of shipping containers is an unauthorised use of the land”.
The Gazette contacted The Reed Group for a further response but did not receive a reply by the time of going to press.