Council Land & Economic Development: An Opportunity

Some Councils hold sizeable areas of land with economic development potential.  Some of this land is either idle or used only in a limited way.

In many cases, these land areas suffer further because they are not readily available for sale or lease on the limited occasions when enquiries are received from potential buyers or lessees with development intentions.  These parties typically wish to proceed quickly.

The time losses and uncertainties associated with future tender processes commonly lead these parties to choose more readily available land, sometimes in other local government areas.

These problems should not be blamed on the tendering requirements in the Local Government Regulation 2012.  It is open to Councils to take the initiative in ‘freeing up’ these land areas.  This can be achieved by the following steps:-

  1. Selection of land parcels with economic development potential.
  1. Preparation of a short public tender invitation for the sale or lease of the land. The tender invitation should be written in a broad form without stipulation of future use of the land.  However, reference to the possible need for planning approval should be included.  It is not necessary to include a pro-forma lease.
  1. If one or more tender responses are received, these should be evaluated and a report and recommendation taken to a Council meeting.
  1. Where no tenders, or no satisfactory tenders are received, the outcome will still be positive. The Council will have freed the land from further need to tender or auction.  The land will then be able to be promoted and marketed for sale or lease, either by Council or through a real estate agency.

For more information, contact Mal Skipworth. 

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