Gutted - our quiet road is about to become a motorway.

Need to rant a bot I'm afraid.

In November 07 we bought a block to build our PPOR on. The block was not title for a long time, so gave us plenty of time to plan, raise money etc and get ready for building.

At the time, the block was pretty much rural. Its the last, far corner block on the edge of a new estate with views of acreage properties and trees over the road and an orchard next door. It was also on a small, unsealed road.

We were not naive enough to think it would always be that way. We knew the road was to be sealed, (up to our house anyway), and we knew the orchard was to be developed. However, there were no plans set for the area on the other side of the road which is currently agistment and rural blocks and very pretty.

The new road went in, up to our house as we knew, and basically this road doesn't really lead to anything do gets very little traffic past us. Most of the traffic turns into the estate before it gets to our place.

Now, we also 'knew' that eventually the land opposite would get sold off and developed, it's too close to town and is basically the next prime spot to build on in the area, so again, we didn't go into this thinking we'd have the luxury of views forever. We did think, and were led to believe by council and others that the land would be split up for regular residential estates like ours. No problem.

I find out today that the land has come under the Growth Area Authority and they have just finished their initial assessment of the area. They have proposed a business park at the top end of our road, residential housing opposite us and due to the enormous amounts of traffic expected by the business park our quite road is proposed to be turned into a dual carriageway.

There are no public plans available as yet.

Council told me that there is no additional minimum set back for a dual carriageway to existing properties. We are 4m set back from the footpath, with about a 1m footpath then a regular nature strip then the road. Potentially, that road could become the first two lanes of the dual carriageway so we could literally go from a house on a small lane with views of rolling hills and horses to a house bang on the side of a motorway.

We've only been in the place 3 months, it's pretty much our dream home. We spent a fortune upgrading everything and the place is just about how we want it now. The thought of moving so soon is awful, but so is the alternative of living on a motorway.

I am assuming that changing the road to a main road and adding all the extra housing & traffic is going to affect the value of our property's. If so,do we have any recourse against anyone? I'm by no means looking for an easy buck, or want to bleed someone etc - but it's only right that if a development goes ahead that is detrimental to the existing properties that their should be some sort of recompense?

We just don't know what to do. We're thinking of selling now before it all starts, but don't really want to move until we have at least enjoyed the house we spent 2 years planning and building after only 3 months. On the other hand, if we wait and then works being, who the hell is going to want to buy a house that has a major road construction project progressing on the doorstep?

I'm so gutted. We spent so much time planning this place and put so much of ourselves into, the thought of having to move on so soon is heartbreaking.Not to mentions that fact that we'd be lucky to even break even with it seeing as how we over specked it all as we thought we be there a good long while.

Thanks for listening.

Tone.
 
Sadly there is probably no avenue for compensation. Conversely, some people get lucky and make a windfall when their property is rezoned to a higher usage.

I would suggest you sit tight for now.

If you were to try to sell then you would be heavily discounted because of the perceived future problem.

I think it far better to wait until all the development happens, then take steps to minimise the effect on your property - solid fences, double glazing if necessary etc.
Marg
 
i got two words for this situation - "aw f*ck!"

that's terrible. there has to be a way to lobby the dual carriageway idea - however - is it one lane in opposite directions or two? one lane might actually be quite quaint....the island may be beneficial to the outlook across the road - but if the traffic is a lot it could very literally feel like a highway. sometimes islands are put in as traffic SLOWING devices, to bring landscaping in closer and increase the feeling of speed - an inverse effect - so folk doing 50 feel like it's 70...

still - your 4m setback to the boundary is intense - i've never heard of folk building that close in a little rural area.

more info?
 
I find out today that the land has come under the Growth Area Authority and they have just finished their initial assessment of the area. They have proposed a business park at the top end of our road, residential housing opposite us and due to the enormous amounts of traffic expected by the business park our quite road is proposed to be turned into a dual carriageway.

There are no public plans available as yet.
This all sounds very much "pie in the sky" at this stage; I would think there are a lot of steps in the process between now and the construction of a business park and turning a quiet street into a "motorway". (I put the inverted commas because I can think of plenty of dual carriageways around Brisbane which have very low traffic volumes and which aren't motorways.)

I suggest you take a deep breath, keep abreast of plans, but there's no need to panic yet. There'll be so many consultations, options, plans, etc, that I'd be willing to bet that you'll have years of opportunities to campaign, write letters, have input, etc. My - admittedly limited - experience has been that residents' input actually does have a significant impact on development plans. They're not going to leave the land unused because people campaign against it, but they may do things like have the main entry coming from the other side (if that has lower impact), include a vegetation buffer around the park, incorporate leisure facilities into the development, upgrade public transport to the area, etc. I would be thinking of things that you can ask for that would make you happier about the development. :)

Certainly you shouldn't abandon your dream home on the basis of what sounds very much a preliminary idea. Even if it goes ahead, I would think that provided it's well-designed, it may actually add to the value of your property. All those people going to work in the business park need to live somewhere. ;) And the business park may also include cafes, cinemas, etc, that add to the amenity of your area.

Good luck!
 
unfortunatley Tracey, it's advertising in the paper of an EGM about the area, a tiny little ad in the sections no-one reads.

there'll be no letters, i'll bet, asking affected landowners to confer.

struture plans will creep up on people and them BAM - devalued land. having serious objections need to be done before ANYTHING is set in motion. once they are,it's very hard to stop the govt trainwreck.
 
Maybe I'm spoiled... in Brisbane we seem to be deluged with invitations to consult, participate in community forums (or should that be fora?), submit our own plans for the suburb's development, etc.

Surely, even if the LGA didn't actively consult, the local rag would pick it up?
 
it'd be swung is a positive though tracey - local rags are usually taxpayer funded.

in WA there's barely any consult unless you know where to look or you have to engage another affected party.
 
Thanks for all the replies.

I got a LOT more information yesterday afternoon. I managed to find a number for the person dealing with the development plan at the Growth Areas Authority, and she was actually very helpful.


Firstly, in response to a couple of posts above, the reason we have only a 4m frontage is that we are on a modern estate. The land that our estate is on was once rural like the land opposite, but as rezoned and divided up as housing. Our block is 613m2. We look out onto a newly sealed road, (that was originally a dirt track when the blocks were first divided up). Opposite us are rural properties that we knew all along would eventually become the next 'estate' over.

So, the lady at the GAA tells me that the plans are almost finished, we'll be receiving letters shortly and the plans will be on public display in the first or second week in January. Building will commence shortly and will be substantially progressed within 2 years. This beggers belief as none of the acreage owners on the other side of the road have yet been approached to sell up.

The lady said that technically, there was nothing to stop them from making the road outside our house into the first two lanes of the dual carriageway and adding the return lanes to the other side, that was our main fear as we would literally be right on top of the main road.

She said, however, that they are very mindful of existing people and properties. Also, on the front of the acreage properties directly opposite are some huge old oak trees which the GAA always try to keep where possible. So, their plan is to turn what is currently our main road into a service road. Then, on the other side of the 'service road' they will create a 25 meter wide median which will have the oak trees on. After the median will be the new road. So, at least it's a good way off out doorstep.

She also said, which was very interesting, that they would only put in one lane each way of the new road. It would be duplicated by Vicroads when they take ownership of the road from the developer. This duplication would occur in 10 to 15 years time.

I'm really busting to see the plans, as potentially this could actually be a better outcome for us that simply having more housing directly opposite to stare at. Especially as one of the oak trees is almost dead opposite our front windows.

I certainly slept better last night after fining that lot out. It may still be a poor design, but at least the fear of being right n top of the main road has been alleviated.

What is amazing to me is that this is the first any one on the street has heard of it, yet I often phone council and research on the net to try and find out what development plans are afoot for the surrounding area. In fact, it was only Monday that the council told me flatly there were NO plans to develop the area at all. It was only a chance comment from the councils strategic planning manager yesterday morning when he called me by mistake that made me look a bt deeper and found the GAA website.

Cheers for listening.
 
I have not read through the whole thread yet, so if this suggestion has been advised, please ignore. :D

First instinct is to say sorry to hear etc.

Second instinct is, if its going to be a motor way with heaps of cars (ie customers) driving past all day, why not look into advertisement?

Have the site used for commercial use and have a advertisement banner erected to take advantage of the high traffic flow driving past. Sell advertising space to companies who want exposure in the area. I know this probably wont help the gutted feeling you have right now though.

Just a quick idea. :D

Cheers

Mick
 
Propogate, I am pleased to hear that the situation is not as dire as you first thought.
Hope the plans show a good outcome for you.
Marg
 
She also said, which was very interesting, that they would only put in one lane each way of the new road. It would be duplicated by Vicroads when they take ownership of the road from the developer. This duplication would occur in 10 to 15 years time.

You can see a lot of this around the "Timbarra" area in Berwick. Plenty of areas where there is space for the duplication but nowhere near starting. And it's been like that for at least 10 years.
 
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