Are you considering a residential development site but have concerns with relocating a power pole, speed hump or bus stop?
Well, stick around because, in this article, I’m going to share everything you need to know and exactly what you need to be looking out for. Let’s get into it.
When undertaking due diligence on a potential townhouse development site, some of the more significant encumbrances on the street side of your site that you need to be aware of include power poles, speed humps, and bus stops.
All of which can and will cause significant issues if you aren’t aware of the impact that they can have on your site before committing to the development.
Encumbrances such as these would typically turn developers off a site, not us here at Little Fish; at least that’s not our default setting.
We see sites such as these to have a competitive advantage potentially. This is an excellent example of knowledge equalling money.
If you can work through these curveballs and gain confidence to move forward, the chance is you’ve secured a site without competition and undervalued in many cases.
We are under no illusions that these sites can be risky business, but we also understand that they offer great opportunity if you can work your way through the encumbrance and find a way to deal with it positively.
Before we go too deep, it’s important to point out that the information will always be general.
And the authorities that we’ll be referring to throughout the article will be relevant Victorian authorities such as VicRoads. So, make sure you still do your own research and speak with your local authorities.
Let’s look at power poles, speed humps and bus stop’s individually. We’ll look at the potential impact each can have on a site, as well as the various options for dealing with each.
Firstly, let’s look at relocating power poles.
1. Power Pole Relocation
Not all power poles out the front of your property are going to cause issues. They only become a problem if you are looking to add an additional cross over. And the pole is in the way of the proposed location.
Generally speaking, you would need a meter clearance between the proposed cross-over and the pole.
If you don’t have that clearance, it is possible to relocate the pole. But it will come at a cost like most things in life.
The cost will depend on the specific pole on your nature strip and its actual purpose with regard to your street power distribution.
Cost to Relocate a Power Pole
Light and power poles aren’t all the same. Some are considered more important than others.
The cost to relocate a power pole will depend on precisely what needs to be moved and how many related services and lines need to be moved.
As nothing more than a rough guide for a high-level feasibility, you could put a circle around between 30-50k.
When proposing the relocation of a power pole, ideally, you would want to keep it inside your frontage. This will help minimise objections from neighbours when trying to move it onto their frontage.
2. Speed Hump Relocation
Next are speed humps; again, a speed hump would only become an issue if it were in the way of where you are proposing to add the additional cross over.
Council or, more specifically, VicRoads won’t support backing onto a speed hump which means you would need to move it.
Moving speed humps is an option, it is possible, but again it will cost.
Cost to Relocate a Speed Hump
For the most part, the cost to move a speed hump will depend on the type of hump and the required materials relative to your immediate area.
That said, you could put a circle around 5-15k.
Again, if possible, when you propose the move, you would want to try and keep it in front of your property to minimise the risk of neighbours objecting.
Not too many of your neighbours are going to be excited to have the speed hump or power pole. For that matter, moved to the front of their property.
So, keeping them out of the front of your property will go a long way to getting a positive outcome.
Next up, let’s talk relocating bus stops.
3. Bus Stop Relocation
Bus stops are significantly less common, but they still need to be mentioned as they are without doubt the riskiest.
That’s, of course, even if you want a bus stop out the front of your development, to begin with.
For us here at Little Fish, in most cases, if it makes dollars, then it makes sense.
We’ve moved a couple of bus stops over our journey, so there are times when this makes sense.
The process of moving a bus stop is, without doubt, a lot trickier and riskier than light poles and speed humps.
All things being equal, you want to have extreme confidence around the potential solution in place before committing to the site.
We have found that reaching out to the council initially to gauge their appetite is a great place to start.
And potentially even reach out to your local transport authority, as these guys will ultimately rule on the decision.
Cost to Relocate a Bus Stop
As you would be aware, not all bus stops are the same. Some have rotundas, and others are just a pole with a sign.
So, the cost to move and the significance of a move will come down to the specific stop and your local council and authority.
Decisions like this one. No matter how much effort and work you put into it. Ultimately will come down to the discretion of the relevant authority. So you need to ensure you have open dialogue and you are reading between the lines.
If you are new to developing property, then taking the time to understand these nuances of the game will pay a dividend in the long run.
It will give you a competitive advantage and ultimately help you make more money.
So don’t be scared of sites with encumbrances such as these we’ve just discussed. Get excited because there could be a great opportunity once you peel the onion back a little.