POLL: 'Tear down' Kosseris mansion

An abandoned Dunmore mansion that has become a playground for vandals should be pulled down, said Kiama MP Gareth Ward.

The future of the unfinished residence, part of the Kosseris family's planned Dunmore Equestrian Centre, remains in limbo, complicated by court orders to restore environmentally sensitive wetlands which could potentially cost millions of dollars.

"The property is a blight on the landscape and should not be tolerated ... the people of Dunmore and Minnamurra deserve better," Mr Ward said.

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The 2000 square metre mansion was about 70 per cent complete when work ground to a halt three years ago after John Kosseris's Belmorgan companies were placed in receivership owing tens of millions of dollars.

But Dunmore Equestrian Centre Pty Ltd had other issues.

In 2007 Shellharbour City Council began proceedings in the Land and Environment Court over unauthorised works on the site, including construction of a road through the environmentally sensitive wetlands.

MORE: Vandals trash Dunmore mansion

The council spent more than $300,000 obtaining an order to remediate the wetlands, but plans to fix the damage were left unresolved when Dunmore Equestrian Centre Pty Ltd, later known as Riverview Developments (Aust) Pty Ltd, was wound up. Despite the involvement of receivers, the Kosseris family still holds possession of the property. It is subject to a mortgage held by the St George Bank, but the bank has not formally taken possession of the property.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the council itself was not in a position to undertake the restoration works.

"The problem is that council took action against the owner at the time, the court made a decision that the owners restore the land," Cr Saliba said.

"Council spent a lot of money pursuing that."

The council was eventually awarded costs but the companies were wound up before the money was paid.

Cr Saliba said St George Bank had made inquiries about restoring the site and she understood there was a party interested in the property, but any purchase would involve consideration of the "significant" damage to the wetlands.

"All we can do is wait until the bank decides what to do or if the property changes ownership ... we might then be able to work with the new owners to have the wetlands restored, but at this stage the bank hasn't taken possession of the property."

Mr Ward said projects such as the Kosseris mansion should not be allowed to languish whether they were on private property or not. He said he was very concerned about the damage to the Minnamurra wetlands and had spoken with Shellharbour council about the matter.

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