The Victorian Government has announced a Voluntary Purchase Scheme for a number of property owners whose properties border the proposed elevated rail on the Cranbourne/Pakenham Railway Line. Under the Scheme eligible property owners may enter into negotiations for the sale of their property to the Level Crossing Removal Authority (the Authority). The Authority has published several principles that will guide their assessments on whether a property is eligible to be included in the Scheme. These include, but are not limited to:
- Sharing a property boundary with the rail corridor;
- Use as a residential property;
- Whether the property is subject to significant overshadowing from the proposed elevated structure;
- The height and visibility of the structure relative to the property
If you have received a letter from the Authority advising that you may be eligible to participate in the Scheme it is important to seek legal advice. We can help you get the best valuation and asking price, and explain the valuation system for claims under the Scheme.
Slater and Gordon’s Tips
- Do not discuss the valuation of your property with representatives from the Authority;
- Engage legal representation early to discuss your options;
- Once a decision is made to participate in the Scheme, instruct lawyers to handle all communications with the Authority;
- Work with your lawyer to choose an appropriate property valuer. It is important that you engage a valuer who is qualified and reputable and whose opinion will carry weight with the Authority’s valuer.
Our offer on Legal Costs: No Cost to You
We will offer to act for any person who has received a letter advising they may be eligible to participate in the Scheme on the basis that our costs will be paid by the Authority and not by you. We are happy to meet with anyone who has been contacted by the Authority regarding the Scheme. Alternatively, if you have not been contacted by the Authority but believe your property fits the principles for eligibility, we would be happy to speak with you to see if we can assist with a submission to participate in the Scheme. If you ultimately decide not to participate in the Scheme you will not be charged for any legal work.
Please contact Adrian McMillan on 03 9602 6940 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to arrange a free and obligation free appointment. You can also register with us if you have been contacted by the Authority but plan to wait until you make a decision on how to proceed.
Our team, led by Roger and Manisha, is currently acting for a number of clients whose properties have been affected by major infrastructure projects across Australia. Roger and Manisha were prominent advocates for the rights of property owners adversely affected by the then-proposed East West Link Project. Nearly half of the owners who participated in the East West Link Scheme engaged Slater + Gordon as their lawyers.
Roger Batrouney is an Accredited Specialist in Planning, Environment and Local Government Law. Roger has over 45 years’ experience representing owners and business in compensation claims against government departments. Roger has acted for numerous property owners who have chosen to sell their property to the government, most recently in relation to the East West Link and Melbourne Metro Rail Projects.
Manisha Blencowe is a Principal Lawyer in the Victorian Commercial and Project Litigation team. Manisha has extensive experience in major litigation, including complex compulsory acquisition and land contamination disputes. Manisha has acted for a significant number of property owners affected by major infrastructure projects as well as leading the class action on behalf of residents of the Brookland Greens Estate in Cranbourne against the City of Casey and the EPA.