Land sale concerns
MOLESWORTH residents have expressed their concern at the proposed sale of a parcel of land owned by the Derwent Valley Council.
A number of residents say the site is an extremely valued piece of community land.
In a notice in the Mercury on November 17, after it was first advertised weeks earlier, the council issued its intention to dispose of a block of land at 595 Molesworth Rd — a site which contains around 200m of walking trails used by the Molesworth Environment Centre for student activities.
Neighbour to the property Jane Bradshaw, whose family owned the site before it was donated to the council for public use, said she was baffled as to why the council wanted to sell the land.
“This area gets used by thousands of students each year for educational purposes driven by the environment centre,” she said.
“It was donated to the council in the first place for public open space. I can’t understand how they can turn around and sell it and for what purpose?”
It’s believed the council has been flooded with public letters objecting to the proposal.
One of those submissions was from former councillor James Graham, who said he was “questioning the process”.
“It seems to me the land has been earmarked for a certain purpose,” he said. “It’s a space that gets quite a lot of use by school students, so I think common sense needs to prevail.”
After speaking with a number of concerned Molesworth residents yesterday, Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw all but signalled the site may be safe from sale.
“This will go to council, but I would say the community members, the primary school and the environment centre have put a good case forward showing we need this land as part of the community,” he said.
“I personally can’t see the council offloading it.
“Notices of disposal are good ways for council to do the proper checks and gauge public feedback.”