Shire seeks second opinion


A PLAN to sell a section of tree reserve to the owner of an adjoining property for $83,000 has been knocked back by Mornington Peninsula Shire after claims it was “under valued” by more than $200,000.

The 275 square metre strip of land at 2A Langford Rd, Sorrento, was transferred to council ownership in 1978  from VicRoads (then the Country Roads Board) as part of a subdivision of the surrounding land.

But recent plans to remove the tree reserve status and sell the land to its neighbour for $77,000 plus costs have failed, after councillors voted to seek a valuation of the combined properties and renegotiate the price.

The proposal, which was advertised in May, had raised the ire of Nepean Ratepayers Association, which objected to the land not being for sale “on the open market”.

The association’s submission suggested the land should be sold for a minimum of $291,083, or be kept as a land reserve for another 38 years.

Cr Hugh Fraser said “face value” suggested the land was undervalued, and that a pre and post sale valuation should be done of the property at 2 Langford Rd, with the higher price determining the price of the tree reserve.

But Cr Antonelli Celi said it “was a no brainer” that the entire parcel would be worth more when the two allotments were joined, but that changing the price now was an injustice to the landowner.

“When did we become estate agents,” she said.

A council officer’s report noted that the valuation was carried out by a certified valuer and reflected the value given “relevant circumstances”.

The heavily vegetated 49-metre strip runs beside the block at 2 Langford Rd, and effectively creates a buffer between that property and a wider tree reserve abutting Point Nepean Rd. There is no road access from Point Nepean Rd.

The council report noted that any plans to create an access point from Point Nepean Rd would be subject to VicRoads approval and arterial road access restrictions.

The amended recommendation was to seek another valuation of the combined parcels of land, and bring the matter back to council.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 19 July 2016


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