Minnamurra site's history a tangled tale

The 2000-square-metre Dunmore Equestrian Centre homestead, later unofficially known as "the abandoned Minnamurra mansion" was 70 per cent complete when work ground to a halt five years ago around the time owner John Kosseris's Belmorgan companies were placed in receivership owing tens of millions of dollars.

The future of the unfinished residence was complicated by court orders to restore environmentally sensitive wetlands, work that Mr Kosseris estimated would cost $4 million.

GALLERY: Grand plans for Minnamurra mansion

The orders placed the 40-hectare property in a state of limbo, with St George Bank, which held the mortgage, refusing to take possession of the property.

The damage to the wetlands occurred during the early stages of construction of the mansion.

Part of an endangered ecological community was cleared and there were issues with soil and sediment washing into the wetland.

Shellharbour City Council spent more than $350,000 pursuing John Kosseris and Dunmore Equestrian Centre Pty Ltd and was awarded costs as a result of the litigation, but the insolvency of the company prevented the council recouping any of the money.

The six-bedroom home, controversially approved by the council in 2002, was supposed to be the Illawarra's most lavish property, with 360-degree ocean and escarpment views, and includes a massive indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, change rooms, games room, gymnasium, two barbecue areas, indoor garden and eight-car garage.

A string of further controversial development applications for the property followed, while a 42-metre tunnel designed to connect the house to the proposed stable building was constructed without any approval at all.

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