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New rule threat to local land values
Rural landholders in the Wagga area face massive cuts in land values under new environmental rules which came into force last year.
Landholders now have less than four months to act or risk losing tens of thousands of dollars in building entitlements attached to their land.
The Wagga Wagga Local Environmental Plan 2010, which took effect on July 16 last year, states that landholders must lodge a Development Application with Wagga Wagga City Council by no later than July 15, 2011 or they will automatically lose the building entitlements.
Commins Hendriks Solicitors’ director Bill Thompson, commercial lawyer Erin Nash and planning advisor Anthony Newland said the LEP had considerable implications for landholders who ignored the deadline.
“This new LEP could have significant impacts on the value of properties if building entitlements were to simply vanish overnight,” Mr Thompson said.
“Rural landholders who own, or are thinking of buying property, that currently has a building entitlement may lose their entitlements come July 2011.”
Ms Nash said it was important to act now in order to secure the land’s value. “We’re urging people not to hit the panic button,” Ms Nash said.
“There is time to get this right but don’t leave it to the last minute. Seek advice now and get things moving. You need to lodge a Development Application (DA) to secure any building rights that you may now have.”
For example, if a husband and wife own a 600-acre property and later buy100-acre property with a building entitlement, they could lose the building entitlement on the 100-acre property if they don’t lodge a DA. This could substantially devalue this block if it was to ever be re-sold. This would also include small rural holdings, or hobby blocks, if people are intending to build.
Ms Nash also said rural landholders should check if they have ownership of a title to some farmlands which have a separate title or were owned by a different person as at November 1, 1986. Land in the following zones may be affected:
Zone RU1 Primary Production
Zone RU2 Rural Landscape
Zone RU4 Rural Small Holdings
Zone RU6 Transition
Zone R5 Large Lot Residential
Zone E4 Environmental Living
Mr Thompson said the rural sector continued to do it tough after years of drought and more recently extensive flooding across a wet summer season.
“It would be a shame if landholders suffered another financial blow which could have been avoided by acting early and getting organised,” Mr Thompson said.
“If you are unsure about how to proceed, you should seek legal advice about lodging a Development Application to retain your building rights.
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