Northern Midlands Council has described as fake news a media claim it paid far too much for a 3.21 hectare block of residential land in Norfolk Street, Perth, which it intends to develop as public open space while also selling-off some of the area for residential housing to offset the purchase price.
Council plans to improve and reserve for community use 2.52 hectares of the area once it has undergone much needed stormwater drainage work. Eight residential blocks will be set aside for sale at market price with the aim of making the project cost neutral.
Mayor Mary Knowles OAM said Council followed due process and obtained an independent valuation of the property prior to paying $640,909 for the land in March 2019.
“An independent valuation completed prior to sale confirmed Council paid a fair price for the land at 10 Norfolk Street, with the process subsequently reviewed and accepted by the State Local Government Division,” Mayor Knowles said.
“Unsupported claims by the Launceston Examiner that Council paid $475,000 over its value are ill-informed and bad journalism.”
Mayor Knowles said the current advertised price for a 718m2 block of land in the new Diamond Park Estate, roughly 2km from Perth’s Main Road, was approximately $150,000. Similarly, a 1.06-hectare block of residential land, more than 2.5km from Main Road was currently advertised for $249,000.
“By contrast, the 3.21 hectare property that Council purchased in Norfolk Street is in the heart of Perth, approximately 700m from the Main Road. It required remediation and development to establish essential services, but to assert its value was only $165,000 is out of touch with current property trends in the growing suburb.”
Mayor Knowles said that with completion of the new highway bypass, it was predicted the population of Perth would double over the next 10 years. That means land prices will continue to rise, and the importance of public open space will become even more important.
“Altogether, the purchase represents not only good value for money, but good value for the rapidly growing town community.” she said.
Source: Northern Midlands Council