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Following the 2014 Federal Budget, the South Australian Government announced that construction on two major parts of the North-South Corridor would commence shortly. The two projects in question are the Darlington Upgrade Project and the Torrens Road to River Torrens Project.
The Darlington Upgrade involves a duplication of South Road and a widening of the existing road, from the Southern Expressway in the South to Ayliffes Road in the North.
On 20 May 2014, the South Australian Transport Minister announced that 60 properties would be compulsorily acquired from South Road in Bedford Park and Mitchell Park as part of the construction of the Darlington Upgrade. 45 of these are residential properties.
This came as a surprise to many property owners who, as recently as 12 months ago, had been told that the project would not be going ahead.
The moment that your land is impacted by the threat of compulsory acquisition, you may be able to take action to trigger your entitlement to compensation. It is important that those affected know where they stand. Slater and Gordon is a national law firm that specialises in obtaining compensation for those affected by land acquisition.
Our experience has shown that with the right advice the amount of compensation obtained can sometimes be considerably more than first thought. It is important that those affected obtain expert legal advice about their entitlements.
Initial Advice is Cost and Obligation Free
We know people want an understanding of their legal position before they start incurring legal costs. When your land or business interest is to be acquired by a government you are entitled to have any professional expenses relating to legal, accounting and valuation services paid for by the government. We can sit down with you and discuss your situation on a no-cost and no-obligation basis. Alternatively, if you’d like to know more about legal rights when it comes to land acquisition, we can send you an information pack.
Affected business owners
We know that as a business owner any land acquisition of your premises can have wide-ranging consequences, whether you are a leaseholder or own the freehold. You are faced with the difficult dilemma of relocating a business that might have been established for many years, finding a replacement site, grappling with advertising when your business may have previously been able to operate without it and fitting out new premises - among many other concerns. For you any compensation must take account not only of the value of your land, but the value of any business lost through the acquisition.
It may be very difficult and time-consuming task to locate a suitable alternative site for your business. Given that any compensation for your land must be referable to the market value as at the date of any acquisition, it is in your interests to commence looking for alternative properties as soon as the prospect of acquisition arises, because the cost of land in commercial hubs can fluctuate rapidly over short periods of time– so the closer in time to the acquisition you are able to find an alternative property, the better position you will be in. We can advise you on the best commercial strategy to adopt whether you have a leasehold or freehold.
Here at Slater and Gordon we have many years’ experience assisting clients with compulsory acquisitions:
Roger Batrouney is an Accredited Specialist in Local Government, Environment and Planning Law. Roger has represented scores of residents and business owners in compensation claims against planning authorities and government departments, dealing with all aspects of the compensation scheme and the rights and protections offered by compulsory acquisition laws. Roger has been practicing for over 45 years and in that time has acted for property owners affected by multiple major infrastructure projects, particularly in Victoria.
Ben Hardwick leads the Victorian Commercial and Project Litigation team. Ben has extensive experience in major litigation, with a particular expertise in class actions. Ben has also acted for property owners affected by major infrastructure projects. Ben has advised clients on strategic issues relating to these projects and advocated on their behalf to governments on issues relating to these projects.
Manisha Blencowe is a Senior Associate in the Victorian Commercial and Project Litigation Team. Manisha has worked with Slater and Gordon for over 10 years and has considerable experience in land and environment matters, including complex compulsory acquisition matters.
We would be happy to meet with you in our Slater and Gordon Lawyers Adelaide office or meet at your property, to outline the likely next steps and discuss your circumstances and the services we can provide.