Lost views could be worth $40,000

How much is a good view worth? More specifically, how much is a lost view worth? According to one Victorian government agency, up to $40,000. Under one government proposal, landowners whose views are affected by new transmission lines and towers could be in line for payments of that magnitude.

The idea was floated by the government agency VicGrid, which is seeking consultation on a plan for new transmission and renewable energy infrastructure. Compensation  would only apply to neighbours with “demonstrated significant loss of visual amenity”. The caveats also include an affected property being within 400m of infrastructure in regional areas and 200m in urban areas.

The draft plan states: “Infrastructure would need to be clearly visible from the point of the dwelling, home occupation or other site of sensitive land use.”

In reality, most of the VicGrid projects will affect farmers more than urban residents, yet the consultation raises interesting questions.

Compensation for lost views

What exactly can be done if a neighbouring development affects or blocks your view in Australia? The answer to that depends on your state and/or your local government, but generally, it appears to be very little.

Local planning rules should prevent buildings from exceeding permitted heights, providing at least theoretical protection of views. However, developers and homeowners do sometimes seem to find ways to bend the rules in their favour. In such cases, can a neighbour claim compensation?

In truth, there’s very little written into legislation around the country that directly tackles lost views.

Rather than lost views, a claim of lost sunlight provides affected neighbours with some recourse. According to Peter Clarke, from Sydney firm Hones Lawyers, many local governments have planning guidelines and controls for these situations.

But these rules vary between councils and sometimes between areas governed by the same council.

In more recent years, the issue has been complicated by the fact that lost sunlight can affect solar panels too. It’s become a matter of potentially lost views, lost plant life, and lost energy.

The occasional success story

As hard as it seems to be to claim compensation for lost views, there has been the occasional win. In 2013, a boat harbour restaurant in Queensland had a win, to the tune of $100,000.

The Deck Restaurant and Bar in Hervey Bay successfully argued that a giant whale watching vessel blocked its harbour views. In a plot twist, the vessel was owned by the restaurant’s landlord. An appeal ruled that the restaurant be relieved of liability for rent arrears and collect more than $100,000 compensation.

Lost views and lost hope

Such stories are few and far between, though. If you are concerned about an upcoming nearby development resulting in a lost view, your best bet might be to speak to the neighbour or developer directly. Even then, you may not get much joy. And that advice comes from an actual Australian local council. The Northern Midlands Council in Tasmania says: “It might be worth trying mediation – but you might have to accept that there is no real remedy.”

That is, unless you buy a property near a future VicGrid infrastructure development and convince them your view’s worth $40,000.

Have you ever had an issue of lost views resulting from a nearby development? Did you take any action? Was it successful? Let us know via the comments section below.

Also read: Split loans are on the rise, but are they a good idea?

Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Andrew Gigacz
Andrew Gigaczhttps://www.patreon.com/AndrewGigacz
Andrew has developed knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income and government entitlements, as well as issues affecting older Australians moving into or living in retirement. He's an accomplished writer with a passion for health and human stories.
- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -