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Coffs Harbour Bypass property resumption compensation – what are your rights?


Bypasses can provide safety, time-saving and financial benefits for road users and nearby communities. However if your property, or part of your property, gets acquired as part of the project it can be a stressful and confusing time.

If your property has been impacted by the Coffs Harbour Bypass, our Property Resumption Claims team can help. Read on to find out:

  • More about the Coffs Harbour Bypass Project
  • What compulsory acquisition is (including how it may impact you and what your rights are); and
  • How we can help you with a property resumption compensation claim.

Background of the Coffs Harbour Bypass

In March 2015 the NSW Government announced plans for the Coffs Harbour Bypass as part of the larger Pacific Highway Upgrade project. The project aims to connect Sydney and Brisbane with dual carriageway for the first time.

Projected to be completed in 2027, the Coffs Harbour Bypass will total 14 kilometres; including a 12 kilometre bypass from the Englands Road intersection to Korora Hill, and a 2 kilometre upgrade to the existing Pacific Highway between Korora Hill and Sapphire Beach. The Coffs Harbour Bypass will require three tunnels at Roberts Hill, Shephards Lane and Gatelys Road, as well as three interchanges at Englands Road, Coramba Road and Korora Hill.

Click to open the NSW Government concept map of the Coffs Harbour Bypass

Coffs Harbour Bypass - NSW Government concept design

To undertake these works, numerous property owners have been approached by the NSW Government regarding the impacts of the Coffs Harbour Bypass project and to arrange the compulsory acquisition of all or part of their property.

What is compulsory acquisition?

Compulsory acquisition, or property resumption, is when a government agency takes the whole or part of your land to use for a particular purpose, such as the Coffs Harbour Bypass.

In the case of the Coffs Harbour Bypass, the government agency will contact you to advise you of their intention to acquire either whole or part of your property. During this initial contact, the agency will also discuss how much they are offering to compensate you for your land.

You have the right to negotiate this offer with the government agency. We strongly recommended that you seek expert legal advice prior to making any formal agreements, to ensure you receive the full entitlements and maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

Is compulsory acquisition legal?

Yes. Local, State and Federal Governments all have the power to resume land. However, property owners have the right to object to the resumption of their land if it can be argued that the project can reasonably be completed without their land.

There are strict time frames to lodge an objection, so it’s important to seek expert legal advice as soon as you are notified that your land is to be resumed.

What are my property resumption compensation entitlements?

In general, your compensation is assessed based on the market value of your property at the date you were notified.

Depending on your circumstances, there are a number of other things you may be able to claim compensation for:

What can I claim compensation for?

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If the land under the ground is to be resumed
(e.g. for the construction of a tunnel)
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Costs you incur as a result of the acquisition
(including valuation, stamp duty, borrowing costs, moving costs and legal costs)
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Decrease in the value of your land
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Disadvantage to you or your business resulting from relocation
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Business loss
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Decreased income
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Increased noise due to the project
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Allowing access to your property

Shine Lawyers – we’re here to help

Before you make any decisions, it is important to seek legal advice to ensure you are fully informed of your legal rights to negotiate the best possible outcome for your circumstances.

Our team of Landholder Compensation Lawyers are land dispute experts, who have a proven track record of helping landowners like you to achieve the best possible outcomes. We are also locally based in Sawtell; living and working in the community and dedicated to helping locals understand their legal rights.

We are experienced with navigating the legal complexities of compulsory acquisitions and understand the connection you have to your property beyond the bricks and mortar. Our team will be with you through each step of the process, to reduce the stress of the negotiations and provide expert advice to help you receive the maximum amount of compensation.

Contact our land dispute experts today to arrange a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your circumstances further. Protecting your rights and entitlements is what our team does best.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: February 25, 2022.

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