Kiama land parcel sales to be put on hold

Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler.

Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler.

Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler says his council is unlikely to try to sell any additional parcels of community land until issues surrounding four identified properties in Kiama and Gerringong are resolved.

Kiama Council’s confidential revenue subcommittee has identified the sale of four parcels of land, including a large section of Iluka Reserve at Kiama Downs, as a way of raising funds for capital works.

The Iluka Reserve proposal sparked anger among some Kiama Downs residents who described the move as ‘‘short-sighted’’, while Gerringong residents have also expressed concerns that the council sees a parcel of land on the corner of Fern Street and Willawa Avenue as surplus to needs and suitable for housing.

Gerringong resident Margaret Sharpe said the Fern Street land was used by the public and church groups for overflow parking and for children’s outdoors activities.

‘‘The church parking occurs on most Sundays and for weddings and funerals,’’ Mrs Sharpe said.

‘‘If this was not available and cars had to park on the adjoining streets it would cause traffic hazards. 

Mrs Sharpe said the block also had a history to it, as it was once a quarry where the stone was cut for the building of the neighbouring Uniting Church, which was opened in January 1884. 

The stone was also used for the minister’s residence, now Nestor House, and the foundations of the church hall.

‘‘It remained an open hole in the ground until some time in the 1960s when Kiama council of the day filled it in ... there is now a considerable subsidence on this land,’’ Mrs Sharpe said.

‘‘It would be a shame to lose this green space and also lose the view of this historic church.’’

Cr Petschler said the council was aware of the opposition and planned to discuss the proposal at the South Precinct Committee meeting in August. 

He said the council would not be acting on the Fern Street land ‘‘in the immediate future’’.

‘‘We were unaware part of that site was a quarry, so we will have a geotechnical study done on that,’’  he said.

‘‘In regards to Iluka Reserve we are hoping for some sort of report at the September meeting which we will put out for commentary and see what happens.’’

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