CONFUSION over the ownership of a Wodonga landlord’s driveway, now being claimed by Victoria’s rail track body, may date to 1897.
Rodger Winch is challenging VicTrack, which on June 27 wrote to him demanding he stop encroaching on 170 square metres of land it states it owns.
That strip happens to cover the driveway and part of Mr Winch’s house and garage at 3 Huon Street.
Mr Winch said since The Border Mail reported his predicament on June 29, he had spoken to a VicTrack manager Richard Boucher who told him 1 Huon Street, which borders the former rail corridor, had been sold by the government in 1897.
“That means this potentially goes back 120 years, so records could have been lost and not updated on the computer system over that time,” Mr Winch said.
“That stacks up with them having Bradford Street not being Huon Street (on a map) and differences with easements, so there’s a couple of inaccuracies in their paperwork and that would confirm my point in relation to the ownership.
“I just want to know when those parcels of land were sold off...should we be looking at the 1890s or the 1920s.”
Mr Winch is now tracking bank mortgage documents from the time of his purchase in 1993 to prove his case to VicTrack.
He says a “notice of acquisition”, accepted by Wodonga Council has his title dimensions being 50 foot (15 metres) by 132 foot (40 metres) which equates to his block covering his driveway.
VicTrack declined to confirm 1 Huon Street had been sold in 1897, but its recent review found land in its possession from 1883.
That was the year the Wodonga and Albury railway termini were connected across the Murray River.
A VicTrack spokeswoman said: “We are in regular contact with Mr Winch regarding the land at Huon Street, and we encourage him to provide all the information he has on land ownership so we can reach a resolution as quickly as possible.”
Mr Winch had originally been given two weeks from June 27 to either vacate the strip of land or buy it.
He said VicTrack, which cites land registry records for its stance, had not given any indication on what it would do with the land between two homes.
“If you had this in front of a jury, the jury would be hard pressed to not to show some sympathy towards my plight,” Mr Winch said.
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