Prime Bunbury land to be ‘unshackled’

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

The former Punchbowl Caravan Park on Ocean Drive is among prime vacant Bunbury land expected to be better marketed for sale and eventual development following a landmark agreement today.

Bunbury City Council this morning entered into a Land Investigation and Development Agreement with LandCorp in a bid to “unshackle” the potential of a number underutilised sites across the city.

Mayor Gary Brennan said the Memorandum of Understanding would enable the two parties to work together to find solutions to constraints that have hindered development of vacant sites.

While the council will not reveal which sites are included until LandCorp concludes its initial investigations, the South Western Times understands the council’s depot site within the Stables Precinct and a slice of land at the corner of Spencer and Clarke streets adjacent to the Hands Oval precinct, are in the mix along with the Punchbowl site.

Mr Brennan confirmed the Punchbowl site would be investigated as part of the MOU.

“The city will be signing an MOU with LandCorp to get the old Punchbowl Caravan Park site marketed and they’ll be doing a couple other sites for us as well,” Mr Brennan said yesterday.

He said it would “absolutely” be a good thing to see something happen at the Ocean Drive block, which has remained vacant for several years.

“It’s zoned for a mixture of uses including permanent accommodation, so you can have residential development there, you can have short-term stay and you can have some retail,” he said.

“It’s catering for a variety of uses to make it more attractive for an investor and also easier for the investors to get bank finance.”

The council believes “development challenges” have made some sites which have been on the market for several years “unviable” for private developers.

“LandCorp, as the State’s land development agency, has a strong track record in working with others to explore innovative solutions to difficult and complex projects,” Mr Brennan said.

“Pooling their experience with the expertise and local knowledge offered by senior city officers gives us a fighting chance to unshackle the potential of these sites.”

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