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Council take possession of deceased estate
Shire of Dardanup CEO Mark Chester

A piece of the Ferguson Valley’s prime real estate could be coming up for grabs because of a quirk in local government laws.

The Dardanup Shire Council will auction a 2675sq m block on Wellington Mills Road in coming months after taking possession of the land whose original owners died more than 30 years ago.

Last week the council approved the move to take possession of the block and sell it at public auction to recoup more than $5000 in rates.

South West Real Estate director Tony Roelofsen said there was little real estate in the valley with which to compare the block because most lots were much bigger — but he expected there would be a great deal of interest in the block if it came up at auction.

Dardanup shire chief executive officer Mark Chester said the council had done all it could to track down any living relatives of the previous owners.

‘‘We’ve got to go through this long process to make sure we don’t have a claim in the future where someone says: ‘Well I did own it and the new person you’ve given it to has no right to it’,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re going to appoint an agent to sell it for us, that’ll take a bit of time but under the Local Government Act that’s what we have to do.’’

Mr Chester said if everything went to plan and the block was sold it was likely the surplus funds, after the debt was paid, would be used for projects in the Ferguson Valley.

‘‘There’s lots of things happening out there, if there’s a surplus of funds we’ll try to find a community project to apply it to,’’ he said.

However there are some complications for anyone looking at nabbing their own slice of Ferguson Valley paradise.

The block currently provides a thoroughfare to two adjacent lots.

Planning approvals could be complicated by the block’s odd shape and the creek which runs through it.

Mr Chester said at a stretch it may be possible to get approval for a house on the block but believed in its current state the council’s planning officers would be reluctant to give approval.