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The land was identified as surplus to requirements as its outside the leased area of Hampton Bowls Club and no longer serving its original purpose as a drainage reserve.

The existing underground easements mean it is not practical to erect any structures on the land nor is it feasible to plant trees or significant vegetation as large root systems pose a potential risk of damage to the underground sewerage and drainage pipes.

While the land remains in Council’s name, Council must meet the costs of maintaining the subject land. A sale will remove this maintenance responsibility and enable the land to form part of existing rear gardens for the adjoining property owners.

Legislation has changed. Under the new Local Government Act 2020, Council is required to undertake a community engagement process on a proposed sale of Council-owned land in accordance with its Community and Stakeholder Engagement Policy 2021.

This requirement replaces the formal Section 223 process required under the Local Government Act 1989 and is designed to strengthen community involvement in decision-making, and trust and confidence in Council to make evidence-based decisions that benefit the Bayside community through the consistent application of a transparent process.

Council obtained a market valuation conducted by an independent valuer in accordance with Council’s Discontinuance and Sale of Right of Ways, Roads and Reserves Policy 2018.

Historically the land was specifically set aside for drainage and sewerage purposes. Given the reserve status, Council was not able to include this small strip of land in the leased area maintained by the Hampton Bowls Club. This meant that a small strip of land needed to be maintained at Council’s expense. Council therefore made the decision to obtain a planning permit to remove the reserve status of the subject land to allow for Council to sell it to adjoining property owners. The easements on title will be retained to give South East Water and Bayside City Council the right to access the land for repairs and maintenance if required.

The land was offered to the adjoining owners in accordance with Council’s Discontinuance and Sale of Roads, Right of Ways and Reserves Policy 2018 which states: “Council will only sell such land holdings to abutting property owners”.

Net revenue achieved from the sale of discontinued roads or former reserves is held in a fund and utilised for the development of Council’s land holdings or the purchases of additional land for open space.

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Anton Nystrom

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