Legal oversight complicates Wildens Way riverfront land sale in Murray Bridge

A major oversight has cast doubt on a controversial Murray Bridge council plan to sell 300 metres of riverfront land.

The council had planned to sell a row of shacks on Wildens Way, near Long Island Reserve, to an unnamed party which made an offer for them.

But the sale process has been thrown into turmoil by the discovery that councillors voted in 2007 to classify the Wildens Way precinct as community land - meaning the council could not legally sell it without consulting the community first.

Despite the vote, the precinct was not listed on the council's community land register, nor was any community land classification noted on its property title.

Council staff were not aware of the 2007 vote until they were alerted by residents and The Standard.

The council had been negotiating the sale on the assumption it was freehold land.

Chief executive officer Michael Sedgman said the council was seeking urgent legal advice about what to do next.

The land proposed to be sold, in red. See the interactive map at the top of this page for more information. Image: RCMB.

The land proposed to be sold, in red. See the interactive map at the top of this page for more information. Image: RCMB.

However, he was able to answer another question about the sale: the status of a driveway which was due to be included, but appeared to jut out into Long Island Reserve.

Although the public could currently walk along the riverfront right up to the shack at 12 Wildens Way, Mr Sedgman said, not all of the area was legally part of the reserve.

"There seems to be a perception in the community that Long Island Reserve buts right up against the shacks, but that's not the case," he said.

"If you look at the title ... the Wildens Way land parcel significantly exceeds the shack sites."

Legally speaking, the boundary of the reserve ran through the middle of a new nature play space there, roughly in line with trees which divided a sealed and an unsealed car park.

When facing the river, everything to the left of that line was community land; the status of the land to the right remained uncertain.

A consultation on the proposed method of sale of the Wildens Way land will close at 3pm on Thursday.

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