DECADES of fighting, heartache and expense over the Shoalhaven’s paper estates look set to be resurrected as a Sydney real estate agent tries to sell another paper subdivision of rural land.
The 288-lot subdivision based on plans drawn up in 1915 is located on the edge of Erowal Bay opposite the controversial Heritage Estate, and is being sold by Balmoral business Willis Real Estate.
The blocks of land, which are unlikely ever to be rezoned as residential, are selling from as little as $16,500.
Yet marketing material for the paper estate promotes its location as “in Jarvis (sic) Bay area”, accompanying the advertisement with images of Huskisson and Currambene Creek.
The material also draws parallels between the land, which is a remnant of the Pacific City estate drawn up by Henry Halloran nearly 100 years ago, and Stockland’s Bayswood estate at Vincentia about three kilometres from the estate’s closest edge.
“The land has the potential to be re-zoned in the future but an application would have to be lodged and approved by the planning department at Shoalhaven council,” said an information sheet distributed by Willis Real Estate.
“There has being [sic] some recent re-zonings in the area, Stocklands has a new subdivision 1 km away.”
While Shoalhaven City Council has written to the agent stressing the land was not zoned for residential development, and was unlikely to ever be rezoned, the agent’s publicity material states, “The developer has said he would like to drive the re-zoning over time.”
The agents are also advising clients to buy the land as a long-term investment “in regards to the re-zoning from rural to residential zoning”.
“Land is currently zoned rural with the owner appling [sic] to get the land rezoned over time,” advertisements stated.
“Buy one for your kids or grand kids, or they make a great addition to your self managed super fund (but you’ll need to be quick).”
Council’s strategic planning manager Gordon Clark said council was taking what action was available within legislative boundaries to ensure prospective purchasers were aware of restrictions on the land that was believed to be home to state and federally-listed endangered species.
“We’ve told the agent that land will not be rezoned and not be considered for rezoning, and asked the agent to pass on that information to prospective purchasers,” Mr Clark said.
“We’re trying to do what we can within our bounds, and can only hope people go through proper checks through their lawyers or conveyancers.”
Council has a brochure, Buying Land in the Shoalhaven, designed to help people considering buying property in the Shoalhaven, available on its website, warning about the dangers of buying land on which homes cannot be built.
“It is a sad reality that there are cases that involve people purchasing land with the intention of building a dwelling only to find out that pre-existing land controls prevent this from happening,” said Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash.
“When purchasing a property it is important to carry out all of the relevant investigative work, and not just take people’s word, to ensure the land can be used for its desired purpose.
“Council’s website provides detailed information on all of the relevant guidelines making it a vital resource for residents considering purchasing land within the Shoalhaven.”
The 26.8 hectare site stretching between Kallaroo Road and Erowal Bay Road is also flood prone, and council recently built a levy bank along its southern edge to stop large amounts of water running off the land and flooding Erowal Bay homes.
However, there are claims the levy bank has been built on the land owned by the developer.
There are also claims two developers are preparing for a major legal fight with council in an effort to have the land rezoned to allow residential development.