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Wallan Area Network Improvement Project Update

Wallan Area Network Improvements Project

The Department of Transport (‘the Authority’) has announced it has prepared a draft Planning Scheme Amendment for the Wallan Area Network Improvement Project which will lead to compulsory acquisitions.

In the majority of cases, the Authority is not able to compulsorily acquire land until a Public Acquisition Overlay (‘PAO’) has been applied to land required for a project. In order for a PAO to be applied to the land, the local planning scheme affecting the land is usually amended.

Planning Scheme Amendment C129mith is the relevant Planning Scheme for the Project and is now on public exhibition until 4 December 2020.

You can view the relevant documents at the following website: https://engage.vic.gov.au/glsac/t29.

The Planning Scheme Amendment will facilitate the Project in three stages:

  • Stage 1 – Watson Street Upgrade which will involve the construction of south-facing ramps at the intersection of the Hume Freeway and Watson Street (Wallan-Whittlesea Road);
  • Stage 2 – Watson Street Upgrade which will involve the duplication of Watson Road between the Hume Freeway and the Northern Highway; and,
  • Stage 3 – Duplication of the Northern Highway between the Hume Freeway and Watson Street.

Relevantly, you now have the opportunity to make a submission about the Wallan Area Network Improvement Project, the proposed compulsory acquisition and any other issues contained within the abovementioned documents.

Once the submissions have closed, the Planning Scheme Amendment will be referred to an Independent Advisory Committee (“IAC”) Panel Hearing which the Authority anticipate will be in or around February 2021. The IAC Panel Hearing will hear from submitters regarding their concerns and the IAC Panel will consider the Planning Scheme Amendment. This will then frame the IAC recommendation to the Minister for Planning as to whether the Project ought to proceed and whether the PAOs ought to be applied to land required for the Wallan Area Network Improvement Project.

If you would like a greater understanding of the compulsory acquisition process or the proposed PAOs, please feel free to contact us to arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss your queries.

About our Compulsory Acquisition team

Aitken Partners compulsory acquisition lawyers have more than two decades of combined experience in representing landowners, tenants and business owners in compulsory acquisition claims in most (if not all) of Victoria’s major infrastructure projects.

If you are impacted by a PAO or a proposed PAO for the Wallan Area Network Improvement Project, it is imperative you engage lawyers experienced in compulsory acquisition matters to assist you in obtaining appropriate compensation. The compulsory acquisition process is covered by a unique legislative regime which does not follow standard property and conveyancing law practices.

If you are affected (or you may be affected) by the Wallan Area Network Improvement Project, please contact Natalie O’Flynn on 03 8600 6046 to arrange a time to speak with one of our compulsory acquisition lawyers regarding the proposed design for the Wallan Area Network Improvement Project and your potential rights to compensation if your land is ultimately compulsorily acquired for the Wallan Area Network Improvement Project.