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Local land owners will soon need to finalise sales agreements with the RTA as part of the compulsory acquisition of land needed for the Pacific Highway upgrade, according to Slater and Gordon lawyer, Vincent Butcher.
Mr Butcher, Coffs Harbour Practice Group Leader, said the RTA is expected to move soon to finalise the sales agreements on land required for the highway upgrade between Macksville and Urunga.
“The RTA has made offers to all land owners in this section of the route for the Pacific Highway,” Mr Butcher said.
“My message to these land owners is, if you haven’t already got advice from a professional on the RTA offer then do so now.
“In many cases the first offer is only a starting point and can be increased considerably once all matters are carefully considered,” Mr Butcher said.
Two recent settlements achieved by Slater and Gordon Lawyers for Banana and Blueberry farms on the planned Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade saw the initial offers made by the RTA increase by 117 per cent and 166 per cent.
Landowners should seek advice on their rights and entitlements under the relevant legislation before accepting an offer from the RTA.
Often with the addition of expert evidence relating to the best use of land and the disturbance caused by the proposed works, offers may be substantially increased in accordance with the law.
Compulsory land acquisitions are made under the ‘Land Acquisition (Just terms Compensation) Act’. An objective of the Act is to ensure that when land is compulsorily acquired; "just compensation" is paid.
This compensation would typically reflect the market value of the land and improvements and a value for the disturbance as a result of acquisition.