SALE FEAR

Coun­cil agrees to talks with Mir­vac over land deal

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Elisha Pearce

In A move St Marys small busi­ness own­ers were dread­ing, Pen­rith Coun­cil has voted to en­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions with Mir­vac over the sale of coun­cil-owned land in the town cen­tre. The de­ci­sion paves the way for Mir­vac, owner of St Marys Shop­ping Village, to ex­tend the cen­tre to­wards Queen St. No plans have been made pub­lic as yet. ››

PEN­RITH Coun­cil last week voted to en­ter “di­rect ne­go­ti­a­tions” with Mir­vac about the sale of coun­cil-owned land in St Marys town cen­tre.

Mir­vac, the own­ers of St Marys Shop­ping Village, ap­proached the coun­cil with a pro­posal to ex­tend the cen­tre over nearby com­mu­nity park­land. The park­land was re­clas­si­fied in April to al­low devel­op­ment.

Although plans have not been made pub­lic, a coun­cil state­ment said the Mir­vac pro­posal was “gen­er­ally con­sis­tent” with strate­gies adopted for the town cen­tre be­cause they ex­tended to­wards Queen St.

The car­ried rec­om­men­da­tions at the coun­cil meet­ing stated fi­nal com­mer­cial terms would be re­ported by Fe­bru­ary 28, 2016.

Mir­vac has been in con­tact with the coun­cil since 2012 to seek “feed­back on var­i­ous con­cepts” and made an ap­proach to buy the park­land in May. On April 18, the coun­cil voted to re­clas­sify the lots Mir­vac had asked to buy – in­clud­ing Lang and Kokoda parks – from com­mu­nity to op­er­a­tional land, mean­ing Mir­vac could make use of them.

That out­come struck fear into lo­cal busi­nesses af­ter an eco­nomic re­port sug­gested small firms in Queen St would lose up to 21 per cent of their turnover if the shop­ping cen­tre grew. They could take up to 14 years to re­cover, the re­port re­vealed.

Mir­vac was ap­proached for com­ment.

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