Bellambi industrial block to go up for auction

Wollongong City Council chambers.

Wollongong City Council chambers.

Wollongong City Council hopes to place a large piece of Bellambi industrial land on the market, nearly four years after it agreed to sell the block to troubled mining company Gujarat NRE Coking Coal.

The land at the corner of Bellambi and Watts lanes was to be handed over to the miner – now known as Wollongong Coal – in a $5.2 million deal made in 2010.

It entered into a contract to buy two lots of land, paying a non-refundable $400,000 deposit with the remaining $4.8 million due by June 30 last year.

But the company failed to complete the purchase amid financial turmoil.

Now, according to documents to be considered at next Monday’s council meeting, real estate agent Martin Morris and Jones has advised ‘‘strong interest has been shown’’ in one lot on the site.

Council staff recommended this lot – Lot 101 DP 1171375 – be put up for public auction to allow the council to gain the best price.

‘‘The proposed sale ... will enable this site to be further developed and may provide opportunities for small businesses to establish their operation in this area as part of [an] industrial business park,’’ the report says.

The second lot, known as Lot 2 DP 874519, will not be sold as it is occupied by the council’s soils and geotechincal laboratory.

Should the auction be successful, the proceeds will be used to ‘‘meet current budget commitments’’ and the council’s coffers will also be boosted by rates of about $25,000 a year.