BYPASS START: 30% of properties still to be acquired
ALMOST a third of the properties on the Coffs Harbour bypass route are yet to acquired, despite State and Federal politicians officially starting the project yesterday.
There are 151 properties impacted by the future bypass, most of which have been already secured by Transport for NSW, however, 30 per cent of properties to be fully or partially acquired remain in private hands.
That was confirmed yesterday by Transport for NSW regional director Anna Zycki who said it was usual for this type of large scale project.
Ms Zycki said there was a lot of work to do with each owner to ensure an outcome which satisfied both parties, and added that in some cases it wasn't until a design was finalised that they could set property boundaries.
And there were a variety of reasons as to why some properties remained privately owned, including complex ownership structures, diversity in land uses and scale of acquisition.
"We need to work through with each owner what their particular circumstances are and they need to have time to have valuations and to get independent advice," she said.
"There are a lot of steps to go through in that process."
The 2019 Environmental Impact Statement says of the 151 properties not already owned by TfNSW, there were 19 full and 73 partial acquisitions.
TfNSW had already acquired more than 200 hectares of land and in some circumstances property owners negotiated for total acquisition although the full property was not required.
While Transport Minister Paul Toole estimated it would be another year before the more significant bypass works began, Ms Zycki said there may be some instances where TfNSW would have to "work towards" a compulsory acquisition.
When it was suggested the booming Coffs Harbour property market might mean properties acquired later might have a higher valuation, Ms Zycki said price was not necessarily something that impacted their decisions.
"We work through with each property owner depending on their circumstances … whether it is a full or partial acquisition, the type of property, the zoning, all of those things affect price," she said.
"People have the right to have independent valuations and independent advice through that process."