‘Deferred’ land deal knocked back
DEPARTMENT of Planning, Lands and Heritage has knocked back an offer from Bunbury City Council to buy a slice of land earmarked for residential development near Big Swamp.
The council first expressed its interest in the Francis Street block in 2015 and started negotiations last year to determine if the department would be interested in a deferred settlement arrangement.
Mayor Gary Brennan confirmed the council wanted to develop the land and once it was on-sold, it would pay the Government back.
But the department has knocked back the offer, saying the land could be offered to the open market with “proceeds returned immediately”. The 1.8ha block is zoned high density residential and has been valued at $1.1 million.
Concept designs previously given to the council as an idea of what was possible at the site showed a residential development.
The council passed a recommendation on Tuesday night to refuse an offer to buy the block for $1.1 million outright and enter back into negotiations.
But Mr Brennan told the South Western Times he did not expect the negotiations to be a priority.
“The negotiations may continue, but really we’ve got other land development priorities higher than that one at the moment,” he said.
“So I don’t think the officers will be spending a great amount of time on that.”
He said the land had attracted the interest of the council because of its size and central location in Bunbury.
It was also previously suggested that money raised from developing and selling the property would be spent on improvements to Big Swamp.
“We haven’t discussed this at council, but I’d expect if there’s any net proceeds after recovering the cost of the land and cost of developing it, then the net proceeds could be used again for the Big Swamp/Wildlife Park area,” he said.
“That’s not been discussed by council, but that’s the sort of interest we would have.”