Call for audit on right-of way leases
PEPPERMINT Grove Council claims it cannot get Landgate information about small reserves that are leased along right-of way rear lanes (RoWs) which are now considered by State Government planners as the routes to providing more home blocks.
“Repeated telephone calls and emails to Landgate seeking information as to the progress of the leases have gone unanswered,” a staff report said at last month’s meeting.
It said State Government planners now considered RoWs ideal for new rear blocks that are no longer considered to be battleaxe developments.
But Peppermint Grove residents have often opposed battleaxes, and have wanted their RoWs untouched when 63 battleaxes were created in the suburb since the type of subdivision was introduced in 1967.
The report said creating a new policy to deal with RoWs’ use to access rear blocks was hindered by the ceding and leasing back 4.25m-wide strips of the new blocks to the owners of any new homes for 20 years. The leases create small reserves the council can use to widen RoWs in the future. The report said the number of the leases was unknown, an audit was needed and Landgate may have not completed eight known leases.
It was proposed to review the council’s RoW policy, including the width of RoW intersections at gazetted roads, and whether RoWs could increase tree canopy.
Shire president Rachel Thomas said the council would have to work on RoWs’ “bare bones” issues before any community forums, and it was agreed to have councillor workshops to discuss widths, ceded land and leases, lighting and paving, trees and suitable setbacks on RoWs.
Landgate operations general manager Bruce Roberts said leases for six RoW reserves had been found in Peppermint Grove, no documents had been lodged with Landgate by the council or land owners to register leases for the reserves, and Landgate staff had not been contacted by the council .
“It may be possible that the council meant to refer to the Department of Lands rather than Landgate,” he said.