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The procedure for Southern Moreton Bay Island property owners to purchase surplus, Council-owned freehold land that adjoins their property has been simplified after Council agreed to streamline the process and put in place a policy that treats every island resident equally.

The Southern Moreton Bay Islands include Russell, Macleay, Lamb and Karragarra islands, with the new process applying to approximately 345 of the 4200 Council-owned blocks on these islands.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council regularly received requests from SMBI property owners who were interested in purchasing Council land that was situated next to their property.

“In the past, these have been dealt with on a case by case basis, with many sales not proceeding due to the time and cost of processing one-off requests,” she said.

“However, we now have standard assessment criteria that allows these purchase requests to be processed in a more timely manner.

“The assessment criteria must be met before a sale could proceed but, generally, the land under consideration would be zoned for residential purposes.

“There are benefits in this to adjoining property owners, who can enjoy the benefits of a larger property, and to the city in terms of increased revenue of an estimated $80,000 to $120,000 per year for land that is surplus to Council needs and offers no broader community benefit.”

Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said he was pleased to see a simplified process in place for SMBI property owners.

“Where all relevant criteria is met, the property would be offered to interested, adjoining property owners at the assessed market value,” he said.

“This removes the previous need for tender or auction of the land, allowing more SMBI property owners to amalgamate their land with surplus Council land.

“It’s a good move for both property owners and Redlands Coast. It also does not increase the number of properties that can be built upon and does not interfere with the local real estate market.”

Under the assessment criteria:

· Adjoining owners would be expected to pay all costs associated with any sale

· The contract of sale would depend on purchasers agreeing to obtain approval to amalgamate the land with their existing property

· The sale would only proceed if other adjoining property owners have indicated they have no interest in buying the land

· Council will only consider selling land zoned non-residential where exceptional circumstances have been demonstrated

· An assessment will be made of whether the land serves an operational need for Council

Redland City Council may still have the ‘option’ to sell any adjoining land to other parties if the adjoining resident is not interested.

Any sale of the blocks is through application by adjoining land owners, followed by the operational assessment.

To find out if your adjoining block is a council block and available for sale, please contact Redland City Council

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