Concern over Lamerton House property deal with Stockland

Lamerton House in Shellharbour.

Lamerton House in Shellharbour.

Shellharbour councillor Peter Moran says concerns remain regarding a legal agreement between Shellharbour City Council and Stockland relating to a potential sale of Lamerton House.

The agreement between the council and its neighbour was the subject of a confidential extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday, called by Cr Moran and fellow councillors Helen Stewart and Kellie Marsh.

Funds from the sale of Lamerton House will be put towards the council's $57 million City Hub project.

While the verbal report and discussion was confidential, Cr Moran said it was fair to say most councillors were given information they had never heard before.

Mayor Marianne Saliba argued the presentation from council staff was a reiteration of what councillors heard almost 12 months ago.

"I have every faith that the process we are going through will identify the best outcome for the people of Shellharbour City," Cr Saliba said.

"The bottom line is if we are not going to get what we are expecting then we are not prepared to put the city into greater debt than what we have identified."

The council has identified a figure of $10.1 million worth of loans to help fund the City Hub project.

Cr Moran said it was his expectation that Benson Basin, on the corner of Wattle Road and Lake Entrance Road, would be offered to a potential buyer at the same time as Lamerton House, in the same way the Warilla Library was offered at the last minute as part of a potential sale of the former council chambers at Warilla.

In a draft planning agreement negotiated between Urban Growth NSW and the council, Benson Basin is to be given to the council for use as sports fields.

However, Cr Moran said the council was looking to classify Benson Basin as operational land, not community land as most sports fields are, as it would be easier to sell.

A Shellharbour City Council spokeswoman said the council's priority regarding Benson Basin was to take ownership of the site, then plan for three sports fields.

The council said the drainage capacity of Benson Basin was being reviewed as part of the council's floodplain risk management study and plan for the Elliot Lake/Little Lake catchment to consider its capacity as a sporting field.

More than $177,000 of a proposed contribution in the draft agreement, which is currently on exhibition, has been set aside for future earthworks and drainage to develop the site for this purpose if agreed by council upon consideration of the flood study and plan.

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