Council decision 'hits town lessees'

Monday 8 November 2004

The New Plymouth District Council's decision to sell Waitara leasehold land to the Crown has cost lessees more than $26 million, and the whole community about $50 million, new calculations show.

By The Landlord

The law firm for the Waitara Leaseholders Association (WLA), Till Henderson King, has estimated the loss being carried by leaseholders by analysing Government Valuations (GV) and sale prices in the town.

Leasehold properties were lagging further and further behind the freeholds, Till Henderson King partner Dennis King said.

"The council's actions are causing that loss to the Waitara community, so that is why the Waitara community wants the district council to change its mind and give the Waitara leaseholders the option to freehold their properties, as promised to them many times," he said.

"If they can freehold, that loss will basically disappear. We are not saying that the leasehold properties have dropped in value – they have increased in value – but we are saying they would have increased a lot more in value if this had not happened."

Between February 1 and August 31 2004, the dollar difference between leasehold and freehold was 45%.

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