Innovating land sales’ initiative funds new community park

BRIGHTON Council is developing a new community park at Old Beach funded by the proceeds of sales of land not needed to meet the municipality’s future vision.

The Old Beach Neighbourhood Park, to be built between the East Derwent Highway and Childs Drive, will include an extensive grassed area, creative children’s play area, a skateboard and bike path, community fruit orchard, a nature-based play area and extensive tree and garden plantings.Brighton Mayor Tony Foster said the development, approved as part of the Council’s 2017/18 budget, was made possible because of its innovative policy to dispose of unwanted council land.

“In recent years, Council has sold surplus land and the proceeds from those sales have been ‘ring-fenced’ and used only for other land purchases or developments in line with our long-term plan and vision for the municipality,” Cr Foster said.

“New property purchases that have already benefited from the sale of surplus land include the Super Clinic development at Brighton and commercial property at Old Beach.”

Cr Foster said Council recognised there were limited recreational facilities on the top side of Old Beach, however, existing Council land in this area was unsuitable for a park.

“With funds made available from land sales, Council purchased a significant area at Childs Drive and this has now supported the development of a community-focused park that will benefit residents and the entire municipality.

“With the landscape design by Tasmanian consultants Inspiring Place, it represents a true paddock to park transformation.

“Brighton has undertaken an audit to assist in the development of its public open space strategy to determine property that was not required and to identify land that should be considered for strategic purchase as opportunities arose.

“This resulted in the sale of land that was not suitable for open space, but ideal for residential development, and the purchase of land for developments such as the new Old Beach Community Park.”

Cr Foster said rental income from the Council’s commercial property portfolio, also purchased using the income from land sales, was assisting with the long-term goal of keeping rates in line with movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“Council again agreed keep the 2017/18 rate increase at CPI for the 22nd year in succession. The continuation of our flat rate system will see Brighton’s residential home rates rise by just $19 or 37c a week from last year, likely an Australian record for any tier of government.”