Highway land grab could swallow man’s garden

A COLAC district man wants authorities to rethink plans for the Princes Highway duplication to Colac because of unfair demands for land acquisition.

Colac district’s Noel Hanlon says VicRoads’ plans for a Princes Highway duplication to Colac should share the land-acquisition burden more evenly between landholders on both sides of the highway, rather than from one side only.

Colac district’s Noel Hanlon says VicRoads’ plans for a Princes Highway duplication to Colac should share the land-acquisition burden more evenly between landholders on both sides of the highway, rather than from one side only.

Noel Hanlon lives at the corner of Colac-Ballarat Road and the Princes Highway, Irrewarra.

Mr Hanlon said he knew he would have to build his house at least 30 metres from his block’s Princes Highway boundary when he bought the land in 1973, to allow for an eventual duplication.

But VicRoads’ new land acquisition maps for the duplication show Mr Hanlon will have to give up “approximately 10 metres” more than he had already contributed.

“Now they’re saying ‘sorry, we don’t care about what you’ve put there, we’re taking another 10 metres’,” Mr Hanlon said.

“We’ve put up vegetation as a sound and visual barrier.

“Now they’re saying they’re going to take all our vegetation down and come back another 10 metres.”

VicRoads received almost 40 submissions on the duplication’s proposed land reservation plans between Winchelsea and Colac, and Planning Minister Matthew Guy has appointed an independent panel to assess the submissions.

Mr Hanlon was among about 20 people who attended a directions hearing on the submissions in Colac this week.

“We’re looking to try and share the burden with other landholders on the other side of the road,” he said.

“The panel already had some preliminary notes from us – they seemed to know a little about our place and they’re going to look at the controversial sites, that will be good but I’m not sure when that will be.

“They asked VicRoads for a bit of information, they said we would like a bit more information as to your reasons of putting all the burden on the landholders on the same side as what was taken before.”

Mr Hanlon said he left the directions hearing feeling slightly encouraged.

VicRoads project director Tony Hedley said staff were working with submitters to resolve their concerns, “which range from property access needs through to inquiries about the land acquisition process”.

Mr Hedley said panel hearings starting on May 12 would give the submitters a chance to further present their cases.

“The panel will then prepare a report and recommendations, which will be referred by VicRoads for response prior to final consideration by the Minister for Planning,” he said.

Comments are closed.