Call for au­dit on right-of way leases

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

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.

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