Land acquisition fears
NEW Norfolk property owners fear their land may be subject to compulsory acquisition by TasWater to accommodate an expansion of the Bryn Estyn water treatment plant.
Ratepayer Len Butterworth raised concerns at this month’s Derwent Valley Council meeting, saying he was approached by the land owners for guidance after a recent meeting with TasWater.
Mr Butterworth asked if the council was aware of Tas- Water’s planning development and proposed acquisition.
“The information I received has stated TasWater held a meeting with six property owners to advise TasWater was planning and would acquire their six properties at Bryn Estyn,” Mr Butterworth said.
Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans directed the question to council operations manager Richard Blackwell, who said he had no understanding of the proposal.
“But I’m guessing we should be [aware] at this point in time,” he said.
“That’s obviously a confidential discussion between property owners and TasWater.”
“You should be aware of it and I direct that back to the mayor to make himself aware of and communicate with those six property owners,” Mr Butterworth told the council.
A TasWater spokesperson confirmed the organisation had started a process that would lead to the upgrade and expansion of the Bryn Estyn water treatment plant.
“As part of this process TasWater is assessing various options, some of which may involve the need to purchase surrounding land,” they said.
“No decisions have been made regarding the need to purchase land.”
The spokesperson said TasWater communicated its plans to engage the community over future developments at Bryn Estyn to the council in March this year.
Cr Evans said councillors and council officers at the meeting were unaware of TasWater’s plans.
“I don’t think their communication really hit the mark,” he said.
“It is disappointing that we have to find out by members of the public rather than by the organisation.
“These plans must have been in place for a long period of time if they are doing that.”
Mr Butterworth said the property owners were frightened at the prospect of losing their homes.
“None of these people have been in an acquisition situation with a government body before,” he said.
Cr Evans said the council wanted to engage in talks about TasWater’s development.
“If they are acquiring houses it is people’s livelihoods and the market at the moment for rental properties and properties in general is very tight in the Derwent Valley,” he said.
Cr Evans said the council owned two parcels of land in the area it would be happy to sell to TasWater.