Toowoomba Bypass deal may lead to land resumptions
THE Queensland Government will be forced to buy some large parcels of land to ensure the new Toowoomba Range Bypass design can be achieved.
The design now includes a 30m cutting at the top of the Range instead of the twin tunnel initially proposed.
The last-minute design change has meant neither the state nor federal government owned the corridor of land where the cutting is proposed.
Toowoomba developer Leon Carlile snapped up the corridor of land at 125-137 New England Hwy at Mount Kynoch late last year.
Mr Carlile lodged a development application with Toowoomba Regional Council on January 30 to subdivide the land into 148 lots.
The outcome of that application is still pending and is due early next month.
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A source close to the project told APN Newsdesk the parcel of land was now worth a lot more than it was several months ago.
"There was always the risk this could happen if one of the proponents went outside the preferred bypass route," they said.
"But there was a clear warning to all three consortiums that they had to deal with the landowners if they changed the design.
"I am pretty sure the cost of any land resumptions has not been included in the cost of the project.
"Inevitably the government will pay above the odds for the land to make the problem go away but it will be taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill."
Mr Carlile confirmed to APN Newsdesk that he was now in talks with the government about his land.
"They definitely need the land and I will work with them to get a successful outcome," he said.
"I do not have a figure in mind for the land, not just yet, but maybe next week I will.
"I will certainly sell the land to the government, ultimately they can resume it, but I am hoping it will not come to that and a fair deal for everyone is reached."
Queensland Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey told APN Newsdesk the government had started engaging with landowners regarding specific requirements.
He said any additional land acquisition as a result of Nexus's design solution was factored into the cost of the project and would not increase the overall cost.
"Due to the confidential nature of discussions with affected parties, we are not able to confirm which specific lots are required or the costs involved," he said.
"When selecting Nexus to deliver the project, the department was aware of the need to acquire additional land to facilitate its design solution.
"Following the evaluation of each of the three shortlisted bids, the Nexus proposal provided the best value for money solution for the project."
The government will also need to buy a parcel of land at 94 New England Hwy, Mount Kynoch as a result of the design change.
The Pascoe family is understood to be the owners of the land.
- APN NEWSDESK.