Land ac­qui­si­tion fears

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - PA­TRICK GEE

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.

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