Criticism over land payout proposals

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 July, 2000, 12:00am

THE Lands Tribunal plans to settle outstanding compensation claims over land resumption in the first days of the new Provisional Urban Renewal Authority, which begins operation next month.

Deputy Secretary for Planning and Lands Stephen Fisher said on Commercial Radio yesterday rulings on the outstanding claims would help other owners understand the compensation guidelines.

Mr Fisher said that as a result the number of claims would be reduced. But callers objected, criticising the level of compensation as unacceptable with the owners being denied the chance to negotiate for a better price.

'The new law gives you the right to take our properties legally, like mine,' one caller said.

'I bought my property for $2 million, of which $900,000 was borrowed from the bank. Since I let out two units, I was compensated with just the market value of $900,000, meaning that I will end up with nothing after repaying the bank.' The official claimed those with negative assets could apply for unlimited transition loans from the authority.

'These will at least help the owners to repay their loans to the bank and at the same time cover the payment for the first instalment when they purchase replacement properties,' Mr Fisher said.

There is no time limit imposed on each land resumption case though it is expected the whole process will take between 18 months and two years, he added.