From the Vendors
A brief history of this parcel of land:-
The CLP government elected in 2012 was very anxious to promote development in the N.T and created a new position, Planning Commissioner, to oversee the creation of master plans for the future development of the whole of the N.T. They also appointed new advisors and planners to the Department of Lands and Planning to assist in this planning.
The owners had already lodged a plan to subdivide the farm into 4000m2 lots but it had not progressed and when they raised the issue with the new government authorities, the owners were requested to set that plan aside and apply for a change of zoning from RR and RL to Specific Use which would effectively approve the land for residential development and allow for a range of lot sizes down to 400m2. This was the procedure being recommended at the time for all proposed residential developments e.g Muirhead near the hospital. Once the Specific Use zoning had been obtained, only then would a subdivisional design showing all infrastructure be submitted and only then would the Power and Water Authorities become involved. To achieve this zoning however, the owners were required to carry out a vast amount of investigative work including geological surveys, environmental studies, engineering, soil and water reports. They submitted the completed application to the Development Consent Authority in December 2015 and after some minor changes and additional reports, were advised that the Department of Lands and Planning had recommended to the then Minister in August 2016 that the application be approved. Unfortunately, an election intervened before the application could be signed off and the CLP was unexpectedly replaced by the current Government. The owners have been unable to obtain any information since that time as to the current position with respect to the application. The current Government has however stated it does not intend to change or amend any of the planning proposals put in place by the CLP government and has stated that this area - Elizabeth Valley - has been identified as suitable for future residential development as the eastern side of the new town of Weddell.
The CLP government had however, before its demise, changed the Planning Scheme to provide that where under the Litchfield Subregional Land Use Plan an area zoned Rural Residential was classified as 'urban peri-urban' then that land could be subdivided into 4000m2 lots. A minimum size of 1 hectare continued to apply to other land in the Shire. That portion of this land zoned 'urban peri-urban' under that Plan can therefore be subdivided into 4000m2 lots.
Over the years the owners have had discussions with various engineering groups who have indicated that earth works in the eastern portion could considerably increase the number of lots allowable.
It is doubted that any substantial further reports and surveys beyond those already done would be required by the Planning authorities. It is believed that any further conditions they might impose would relate to the actual subdivisonal design and associated infrastructure.
.The demand for land here is undeniable. The Litchfield Shire is the major growth area of the future and is the only place offering an alternative living style to the small blocks such as in Palmerston or apartments and high rise as in the City areas. People want that choice and with a rural lot, it is possible to build a home over time, starting with a one-room shed-type building and expanding to a full house as funds permit. This cannot be done with a small lot. There is also of course the attraction of the rural lifestyle with all the advantages that, that encompasses.
The documents refer to a relocatable park. It is not necessary for this to be effected of course - but the owners have seen parks of this type in various states and are convinced that they would be a highly successful investment in this area. There is nothing of this nature in the N.T. They cater specifically for aged people and offer an option for those not wanting or not being able to afford to enter an aged-care facility and wishing to retain some degree of individuality and freedom for a reasonable price. The basic notion is that the park offers sites for rent at $160 or so per week and the lessee purchases a relocatable home of variable size - 1 or 2 bedrooms - to be situate on the site - to cyclone proof standards of course - from the owner for approximately $180,000 to $200,000. The park is run as a small village and allows the lessees to have pets, have a garden and share community facilities such as a swimming pool, BBQ area, tennis courts and kiosk. The agreed rules provide conditions on who may live in the homes and general rules to ensure peace and order. They are highly profitable for the owner and offer a cheaper and desirable living style for the lessees.
The owners recently lodged an application to have the house and 2.39 hectares surrounding excised from the bulk of the farm land. The whole property comprises 2 sections of land which share a very peculiar boundary and the owners have been recommended to straighten the boundary alignment and divide off the house and surrounds. The application was recently approved subject to completion of the formal survey and effecting some minor works.
The following documents are available:
• The early subdivisional plan drawn up by the surveyors
• A plan by SMEC showing the division of the land into residential and non-residential areas
• A copy of the application to change the zoning to Specific Use (March 2015)
• The report from Whitehead and Associates on Land Capability and Sustainable Lot Density Assessment (November 2013)
• A copy of an email from theTown Planner setting out the amendment to the Planning Scheme permitting RR zoned lots in an urban-peri-urban area to be able to be subdivided into 4000m2 lots (Feb 2017)
• A copy of the plan by the surveyors showing the currently proposed change of boundaries to excise the house and gardens from the bulk of the farm land (Sept 2018)
• A sheet of photos of a relocatable park out of Brisbane showing the type of set-up involved.