Horsham Rural City Council negotiating to acquire a section of land on MacBain Street to improve walking path

A walking and bike path alongside the Wimmera River

A walking and bike path alongside the Wimmera River

HORSHAM Rural City Council has entered into negotiations to acquire a section of land on MacBain Street to improve its existing riverside walking path.

Horsham council chief executive Peter Brown said the 15-metre wide section would allow a continuous path along the Wimmera River.

“Council has had a long-standing ambition to have access to the Wimmera River on both sides of the river for the community to use,” he said.

“On the west side of the river, this is one of two spots that the community can’t access.

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“The walking track currently has to leave the riverfront. What we would like to do is have a continuous walking track.”

The land in question is a small part of a four-bedroom house and lot on 8 MacBain Street. Multiple real estate websites reported that the property was sold in mid-September for $527,000.

Mr Brown said the council would pay a fair price for the section of the lot and it would fit with the council’s recreation and river crossing plans.

“The negotiation will take some time,” he said.

“It will just be a bitumen track we are envisaging for that area.

“It will be great for recreation, for people to be fully able to access the river, and triathlon and running or biking events along the river will have a lot more flexibility.”

Mr Brown told councillors in September that Horsham council would attempt to acquire the land.

“The MacBain Street property is now being offered up for auction in September and it is considered appropriate that council give notice to the public and any prospective purchaser of that property that it intends to purchase a strip of land along the river to an average width of 15 metres by either negotiation or compulsory acquisition,” Mr Brown’s report stated.

Horsham council intends to pay any final agreed price out of the sport and recreation contribution reserve, which exists to assist the council purchase recreation land.

“It’s an important investment for the future of Horsham,” Mr Brown said.

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