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Common application questions

Where a family holds property in different names, can they make a single application?

A group application for road closure may be made but once a road closing is approved for sale separate accounts will be set up for each separate entity and the sale would generally be to the registered holder of the adjoining land.

Can I close and purchase a crown road that traverses land held under lease?

Where the land traversed by the Crown road is a perpetual lease, the holder is required to convert the lease to freehold prior to the closing of the Crown road. In some instances, the closed road may be sold to the adjoining holder or, if it is considered beneficial in the interests of land management, the closed road may be added to the lease.

How long will it take to process a road closing/purchase application?

  • Each application has unique characteristics and is considered on its merits. Due to the large volume of applications received, no definitive timeframe can be given as to the completion date. The minimum time taken to complete the statutory process could seven months, but the average application takes between 10 to 11 months. The Crown land (the Department) endeavours to process applications as soon as possible and has established dedicated work teams and streamlined processes to manage the volumes of applications.
  • There are no guarantees an application for road closure and purchase will be successful.
  • You are still required to pay rent on your Enclosure Permit whilst your application to close the road is being processed.

Does the Crown Road Purchase Fee Schedule cover applications for the closure of Crown roads that are not held under Enclosure Permit (EP)?

Yes. The current fee concessions apply to the closure of any Crown public road and may  also include unconstructed Council public roads that may vest in the Crown.

What if objections/submissions are lodged for a road closing?

Adjoining land holders and affected authorities are referenced in the road closing process. Only submissions received in writing, within the 28 day advertising period will be considered. The Department as vendor carefully considers submissions and assesses each individually on its merits to ensure that any grounds for objection are valid. The final determination is made by the Minister responsible for the Crown Lands Act 1989 or their delegate and the applicant is notified of the outcome and the grounds on which the decision was made.

What happens if my application to close/ purchase is unsuccessful?

In the event your application is unsuccessful you will be required to continue to pay your enclosure permit rent. Alternatively you may decide to fence out the enclosed road. More information on cancelling an enclosure permit is available on our Enclosure Permit page.

If the application is rejected will I receive a refund?

If the application is refused, unfortunately there will be no refund of the application fees.

How is the purchase price for the road/s determined?

The purchase price for Crown roads is generally based on the per hectare land value of the adjoining land in the Valuer General's Register of Land Values (the value used to determine local council rates) as at the date the purchaser's application is lodged. Some exceptions apply where market based valuations are required for urban, commercial and small area farms.

What if I disagree with the purchase price determined by the Department?

If you disagree with the valuation of the purchase price you should contact the Department and seek advice on the appropriate way forward. If warranted the valuation may be reviewed. The Department may also consider an independent valuation at your own cost but there is no guarantee that this would be the final purchase price.

If I decide to close/purchase my road, will I have to have a survey undertaken or will the Department identify the boundaries of the road?

  • Roads  generally do not have titles. To enable the issue of title and the transfer to freehold land, a plan will be required to be registered to define the boundaries of the road.
  • It may be possible to compile a plan from existing survey information for the creation of title. . However in a smaller number of cases this may not be possible and it will be necessary to have a full survey undertaken by a registered surveyor at the applicant’s cost.
  • If a compilation plan is all that is necessary the cost to the applicant will be the plan lodgement scheduled fee.
  • If a full survey is necessary the applicant will be advised and it will be a matter for negotiation between the applicant and their consultant surveyor.

Does the scheduled fee for plan preparation apply for each plan where multiple compiled plans are required?

The scheduled fee for plan preparation is usually charged once for each separate entity for road purchase . It should be noted that an application for closure and purchase of a road will only be accepted over roads within the same Local Government Area and proximity. Extra fees will be required if extra plans are required to be lodged over larger areas.

Is the fee for road closure paid upfront or is it paid once the closure is completed?

The fee is payable upfront and must be lodged with the application form.

When legal access is required but the practical access is via other means, can the road be closed?

Where it is agreed that a road can be closed, but that legal access is required to be maintained for private purposes, the landholder may wish to negotiate a right of carriageway or easement for access over the practical route. This would be entirely the responsibility of the landholders. However, once legal access is established the road may be deemed to be unnecessary and an application for closure of the road may be successful.

Are there any alternatives available to provide legal access other than via a public road?

Legal access can be achieved by registering a right of carriageway (ROC) or an easement for access (not public access) over private land or the Crown road to be closed. Once the ROC or easement for access is in place and the Crown road is sold any disputes concerning the access is a matter for resolution between the parties involved.

What if I have already applied to close the road and the application was previously refused?

If circumstances that prevented the closure have changed (i.e. the reasons why the application was refused) then holders may re-apply to have the road closed. This will attract full application fees and associated costs.

Gates and public access

Any gate which is erected on a Crown road must not be locked. It is essential that access is not impeded. To find out more about the acceptable standard of a gate, a good guide is the standard of other gates in the locality. For more information, contact your local Departmental office.

History

The State of NSW was progressively settled after 1788 from the area around modern day Sydney. By the late 1830s, squatters had moved into the countryside and taken up pastoral runs. There were no formal surveys of such areas. When the land was eventually surveyed, legal access had to be provided to every holding. The Crown roads network is a result of providing legal access, but may not necessarily provide practical access.

Many boundaries of holdings were delineated with geometric shapes based on cardinal points and survey conventions at the time rather than using natural boundaries such as watercourses, ranges, etc. Crown roads providing legal access were typically aligned to these boundaries and other considerations normally associated with the location of roads such as topography, slope of the land, natural features, barriers and impediments were not necessarily taken into account. Practical access to every surveyed portion was therefore not assured.