Landowner Reference Group - Update on the Paper Roads in the Buttaba Hills South estate

The Reference Group is an advisory body whose role will focus on matters associated with securing ownership of the paper roads in the Buttaba Hills South Paper Subdivision, in order that the landowner group can proceed to prepare a development application encompassing all land in the estate.

Below is an update on the status of the unformed roads in the Buttaba Hills South Estate.

  • Council has sought legal advice on the status of the Paper Roads, and it is the position of Council that the Paper Roads remain private subdivision roads which were never validly opened as public roads.
  • Certificate of Title Volume 3151 Folio187 for DP12507 identifies that the paper roads form part of the residue of land in DP12507 standing in the name of Frank Halloran, the original sub-divider.
  • Accordingly the roads in Buttaba Hills South estate are owned by the beneficiaries of Mr Halloran’s estate.
  • Lot 756 is separate from the paper roads, but is also owned by Frank Halloran’s estate.
  • A solicitor acting for descendants with a possible claim to the roads and Lot 756 is undertaking to find all the lawful successors of Mr Halloran. The solicitor working for the descendants is working as quickly as possible but this process is complex and time consuming and it is not possible to put a timeframe on when this will be completed.
  • Legal advice provided in 2019 by lawyers acting for a member of the Landowner Reference Group did not add anything new to this understanding.
  • More recent legal advice received by Council in February and May 2020 by another law firm acting for a member of the Landowner Reference Group has not added anything new to the understanding of the legal status of the roads.

Once all descendants of Mr Halloran have been identified, an application can be made by the solicitor for the descendants to the NSW Supreme Court, seeking administration orders that establish the present day owners of the roads.

When there is a formal direction or order from the Court clarifying ownership, landowners in the estate will be in a position to enter negotiations with the legal owners of the Paper Roads and Lot 756 regarding their purchase.

27 July 2020

A meeting of the Reference Group was held to discuss additional legal advice provided by another law firm acting for a member of the Landowner Reference Group. This advice did not alter the status of the paper roads.

However the Group resolved that Council investigate and get legal advice regarding compulsory acquisition of the paper roads. This will be researched by Council and reported back to a further meeting of the Reference Group.

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