What to do when the developers knock on your door?
Unfortunately at this point in time I’m still searching for the right answer to this question. 2 Years ago my fiancé and myself brought a little workers cottage in the Windsor-Lutwyche precinct. 3 months after we bought it a town planner friend of mine alerted me to the fact I had bought my house in an area where a draft had been submitted to the state government to change the urban plan of the local area. When we bought the house it was in a DCP area (demolition control precinct), the draft that was issued, slated it for a change to a mixed use/multi-residential zone.
12 months after we bought it the draft was approved and I found my house smack bang in the middle of the new high density Lutwyche Road Corridor Neighbourhood Plan (click here to download PDF).
Once this happened I called by town planner friend and asked him what does this mean? He replied, basically I should stop any work I was doing on my house as my land is now the only thing worth anything. He also said talk to your neighbours and see what they are thinking. So I spoke with both of my neighbours. The first neighbour an Old Italian man who had lived there for nearly 50 years immediately expressed concern and was not willing to enter into further discussion about creating an alliance. The second neighbour was more forthcoming and we both agreed to discuss and potential approaches from developers, and as you need a minimum to 2 blocks to develop we said we would form a coalition.
Our first approach came very early on from a real estate agent, who I suspect was working with a developer and potentially looking to catch out residence that were unaware of the development potential of the area. Since them the path has gone cold a bit and with the recent flooding it now seems like we are struck in a state of limbo as what to do, until I came across the first DA submission to council for the block 2 houses down from mine last week. Now it may only be a DA, but with the airport link and busway tunnels finishing at the end of this year early next year this may spark some more interest.
I have now gone ahead and commenced completion of the bathroom as I fear my fiancé may not marry me if she has to shower downstairs for much longer, but my strategy is to keep my ear to the ground and maintain a good relationship with my neighbours; and if a developer does come knocking I will try and keep my options opens and my wits about me.