Eurobodalla Shire Council has finally released information about the sale of public land in Dalmeny as part of a GIPA application by the Dalmeny Matters group.
A member of the Dalmeny Matters group said The lighter “Documentation shows that Council staff have hid vital information from councilors and the community.
“Information accessed includes the valuation report for the 40+Ha plot sold by ESC to a Sydney development company in 2021.
“In this report, it is revealed that ESC originally considered selling the land with a 20m wide buffer zone between the existing houses and the development area. This land would have been excluded from sale, would remain native vegetation, and would be rezoned for public open space. However, this option was mysteriously not presented to councilors when they voted to sell the land.”
“This buffer zone may have made a significant difference to residents of Dalmeny living adjacent to the land release zone, who currently face a future where their backdrop of bushland is replaced by a noisy construction site. massif similar to that currently experienced by the inhabitants of Broulee.
Dalmeny Matters states that “the valuation report is preceded by a recommendation that the ESC request a price review due to significant market uncertainty (covid pandemic).
“An evaluation review did not happen nor was this fact communicated to the councilors at the time, who therefore voted to sell the land without realizing the risks involved.
“In email correspondence between Council staff and the estate agent selling the land, ESC asks real estate agent not to ‘scare the community’ by mentioning the number of lots that the land can potentially yield.
“The ‘about 300-350 housing estates’ section concerns us because we don’t want to scare off the rest of the community.”
Dalmeny Matters says this estimate is only part of the land release, with another 70 hectares also proposed for clearing and development.
“The emails also reveal that ESC accepted the offer from Heppa Constructions, although it was not the highest, because unlike other offers, they did not ask for a period of due diligence. nor submitted a bid for DA’s approval. What does that say about this company?”
“There is no publicly available information about Heppa Constructions apart from the fact that it was formed in 2019– no past projects, no corporate website, nothing.
Dalmeny Matters asks ‘Did the council carry out any checks on this company before accepting the offer?’
Dalmeny Matters has argued for the need for more genuine community consultation on this development proposal and is still awaiting a response from the ESC.