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Restrictive covenants on former perpetual lease titles

In previous years, when perpetual lease titles were converted to freehold, in most cases covenants under sections 77A and 77B of the Crown Lands Act 1989 (NSW) were placed on the title for the subject land. Section 77A covenants place restrictions for the purpose of protecting the environment or managing natural resources etc. and usually involve restrictions on land clearing and cultivation. Section 77B covenants impose restrictions on subdivision or separate dealings of existing allotments comprised in the former leasehold title.

It is now possible for these covenants to be reviewed and, in the case of a section 77A covenant, except where the land adjoins a national park, it is now possible to have such covenants removed. Application forms can be obtained from the Crown Lands website. However, it is recommended that before making an application, enquiry be made with Crown Land Landscape Services (02 6883 3317 or [email protected]) in order to establish eligibility.

The current application fee is $356.00 and a separate application is required for each holding. Removal of the covenant could enhance the marketability of the holding.

The form of application under section 77B is also available on the Crown Lands website and the application must be accompanied by an agreement from the local council to the proposed subdivision, a copy of the proposed plan if applicable and copy of council zoning information.

The current application fees are $450.00 for subdivision and $250.00 for removal of restrictions on separate dealings of existing allotments.