Council backs away from sale in hope of reclassifying land
AFTER building roads and instructing sales agents in readiness for auctioning the Roundhouse subdivision site at Ocean Shores, Byron Shire Council has again backed off from any sale, this time until August at the earliest while it applies to the State Government to reclassify the land.
The stalemate comes in a long-running battle between the council and the Ocean Shores Community Association over whether the council has the right to sell off the land the OSCA say is held in public trust.
The council's decision to ask the NSW Minister for Planning & Infrastructure to reclassify the land as "operational" so it can proceed with a sale is the latest wrangle over the land which once had a round building on it that acted as showroom for the original developers of Ocean Shores.
The council voted last year to subdivide the 1.388ha parcel of Orana Rd land, with the first four of 11 lots due to be auctioned in March but a last minute reprieve was made when the community group threatened legal action, saying the land was being held by the council in trust for public use and was not able to be sold.
Since the proposed sale date, there have been continued undertakings by the council to hold off the sale, the latest undertaking is until July 31, alongside statements from the council that the Ocean Shores community would be denied updated infrastructure until the sale proceeds.
"The people of Ocean Shores have been fighting for more than 20 years to protect the original zoning of the Roundhouse land, which was 5(a) Special Use (Community Purposes)," OSCA spokesperson John Youdan said.
"Residents see the Roundhouse as the heart of the town.
"There is no other community space, no town centre. The Roundhouse is all that is left of what has been taken from the town.
Mr Youdan said the council was ordered by the Land and Environment Court to acquire the Roundhouse back in 1991.
"It bought the land with community zoning and community classification," he said.
"Council at the time spent $2.75 million in legal costs to justify its community zoning of the property."