Bigger’s better - push for larger development blocks

March 30, 2018

Larger development blocks must be made available for the future sustainability of Finley, according to Finley Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture member John Lacy.

Mr Lacy, who heads up a sub-committee focused on the development of the community, said Berrigan Shire Council’s ongoing release of subdivision blocks was encouraging but their size was placing limitations on potential purchasers.

In a recent meeting with Berrigan Shire Mayor Matt Hannan and Crs John Bruce and John Taylor, Mr Lacy said he felt the size of the available blocks was not seen as enticing.

He said the smaller size was particularly off-putting for regional farmers looking to retire in town, and also for families who may be considering relocating to the town.

‘‘They are very few, if any, larger blocks available at the moment.

‘‘There’s a really urgent need for the Finley population to be able to own a bigger block, particularly from retired farmers.

‘‘Large blocks are ideal for farmers who don’t want a normal town block.

‘‘There are also many young families that would like larger blocks.

‘‘It’s really giving the people who want to live in Finley a better choice, because at the moment it’s a bit too limited.

‘‘Our fear is that more people will buy land in Tocumwal where bigger blocks are available.’’

Berrigan Shire development manager Laurie Stevens said council only has authority on planning decisions within the Finley village zone — the area bordered by Tongs, Hamilton and Howe Sts and the Mulwala canal.

He said all subdivision decisions outside that area are subject to NSW Department of Planning approval.

Mr Stevens said block size and subsequent development is driven by interest in the market.

‘‘The development of land is usually market driven due to a number of external factors,’’ Mr Stevens said.

‘‘In this case the towns of Finley and Berrigan are experiencing relatively slow growth and the cost of land is much lower than our neighbouring river towns of Barooga and Tocumwal which are experiencing strong growth and subsequent higher land prices.

‘‘However the costs associated with the subdivision of land are the same in both areas.

‘‘The development of land by subdivision is an economic decision by the land owners, so if the costs associated with providing fully serviced allotments do not meet the market value of the land then development stalls.’’

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