SITE SALE STALEMATE: Value of Hanging Rock’s East Paddock in dispute

Site improvements at Hanging Rock's East Paddock have bettered recreational use of the site as a concert venue and location for public events. Photo: Bruce Hedge and Kyneton Aero Club

Question hangs over the true value of Hanging Rock’s East Paddock as Macedon Ranges Shire Council and the state government draw lines in the sand over its sale.
The council rejected an offer made by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning in May, which it described as “significantly below” council’s own valuation of the land.
At their meeting on Wednesday, councillors will determine whether to make public the valuation they obtained for the East Paddock while DELWP has advised it seeks to keep both its valuation and offer confidential.
At a valuer’s conference it became clear that the main difference in the valuations came down to site improvements.
DELWP’s obtained valuation did not have any added value for these items and suggested the improvements were “insignificant”, despite arguments the works bettered recreational use of the site as a concert venue and location for public events.
Site improvements comprise internal roads, street lighting, perimeter fencing, a works depot area and underground services including electricity, data and reticulation of non-potable water.
Council officers believed it would not be in the community’s interest to accept the offer as it did not adequately reflect the asset infrastructure that council had invested in the site.
Since acknowledgement of council’s rejection in May, there has been no further correspondence between the parties on the matter.
The council will make a decision at its scheduled Wednesday meeting, which will be livestreamed on the council’s website.