The NSW Government and local councils, including state owned organisations may acquire land and interests in land for public purposes. The government and statutory bodies are often referred to as the ‘acquiring authority’.
The acquisition may be in the name of the NSW government or one of its acquiring authority’s.
The acquiring authority may need all of the property or only part of the land owner’s property. The acquiring authority can also acquire an interest in land such as a lease or rights contained in an easement eg sewer, water, access rights.
The acquiring authority will initially issue a ‘proposed acquisition notice’ to the landowner. If you receive a proposed acquisition notice you will be asked to submit a form under the Act detailing your request for compensation and supporting information as is available. Failure to detail all compensation claimed and costs in your response in accordance with the Act may limit your future claim.
The acquiring authority will initially seek to negotiate with the land owner or interest owner to compulsory acquire the land for an agreed amount. During the negotiation, the landowner may seek that the acquiring authority pay for the landowner’s reasonable costs of certain services such as independent valuation and legal advice as to the terms proposed for the compulsory acquisition.
If agreement is made as to compensation costs, timeframes and other settlement issues then contracts or agreements under the Act are prepared between the acquiring authority and the land or rights owner.
If there is no agreement then the acquiring authority will issue acquisition notice by publishing such notice in the NSW Government Gazette. The publication of the notice in the government Gazette confirms that the Governor of NSW has approved the acquisition and that the Valuer General is required by the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act to determine the payment to be made to the land owner by the acquiring authority for the land or rights compulsory acquired.
The Valuer General of NSW will appoint an independent valuer to prepare a valuation report to assess the amount of compensation to be paid.
The independent valuer will prepare a report detailing the aspects considered by the valuer in its valuation including the claim for compensation by the land owner, matters subsequently raised by both the land owner / acquiring authority and explains the calculations used by the valuer to determine the compensation to be paid.
Once the valuer has prepared his report, it is sent to the acquiring authority who then issues a compensation notice to the landowner which is the official notice to the landowner that the land has been compulsory acquired and detailing the compensation amount. The notice also provides that the Landowner may agree with the amount or that the land owner has a right to object.
If the landowner agrees, they are usually paid within 28 days of receipt of documentation confirming such agreement.
If the landowner objects, then they need to lodge an objection in the Land & Environment Court.
If you require any further information or assistance in relation to compulsory acquisition of land and interests in land by State and Local government in NSW, please contact our team of lawyers at The Quinn Group on (02) 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry form today.