Shellharbour chambers sold for 'pittance'

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba.

Shellharbour City Council has sold its former council chambers at Warilla and neighbouring library "for a pittance", according to the Stop the Hub community group.

Shellharbour council last week resolved to sell the properties for $4.05 million to CEL Superannuation Fund.

A total of $2 million from the sale proceeds will be allocated for construction of the controversial $57 million City Hub project, while the remainder will be used to develop a new branch library somewhere in Warilla.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the council was "absolutely" happy with the sale and said the price had come in within expectations.

The sale would help revitalise the Warilla town centre, Cr Saliba said.

However Stop the Hub convener Diane Quinlin said the Warilla precinct was "a community hub" that would be lost, as would a war memorial and peace grove on the site.

"It has been sacrificed for a pittance to fund the City Hub and a new Warilla library ... the latter to be built at an unknown location and at an unknown cost," Ms Quinlin said.

"The community in two surveys has said they wanted the library to remain at the present location."

Ms Quinlin said ongoing costs of leasing the current premises or the cost of purchasing a site and building on it would not be justified by additional customers or services at a new Warilla library, which would lose its status as the city's "central library" when the hub was complete.

Ms Quinlin said in 2007 Shellharbour City Council recommended moving Warilla Library to the Warilla Grove shopping centre.

"At the time this city was fortunate enough to have an administrator who did not accept council staff's recommendation."

The Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel will determine the development application for the City Hub project.

The JRPP will host "a public briefing meeting" at 4pm on Thursday, August 28, in the Tasman Room at the Shellharbour Club.