CLARENCE City Council may buy back valuable waterfront land from developers proposing a contentious development at the site if no progress is made within six months.
The $50 million Kangaroo Bay development by multibillion-dollar Chinese petrochemical company Shandong Chambroad was approved by the council in January 2017.
Chambroad’s proposal would see a hotel and hospitality training school built on the Kangaroo Bay foreshore.
Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said the council’s acting general manager wrote to the developers on Wednesday and told them the council would consider buying back the land it sold to them if there was no “substantial commencement” within the next six months.
“While the developers have discussed some of the reasons for the delay, it is still unclear when construction may begin,” he said.
“At this stage I’m not sure it’s entirely in their hands — I know they’ve been in negotiations about who’s going to be the education provider.
“A lot of work was happening on the site and now there’s been nothing for six months so it’s time we found out what is happening.
“We believe the hotel design and the concept of an education precinct is a wonderful prospect for Kangaroo Bay so we’re truly hopeful that whatever the difficulties, the project can proceed.”
The land the future development would be sited on was originally crown land that was transferred from the State Government to the council.
The council sold the land to Chambroad for $2.44 million — the market value of the site as advised by the state’s Valuer-General, Ald Chipman said at the time.
The mayor will meet with the developer’s senior representatives in China in June to get a clear understanding of the reasons for the delay and their future intentions for the proposed hotel and hospitality school.
“The council will explore all options to maximise the benefits for the community and the development of the Kangaroo Bay precinct,” he said.
“It is also important to us that this vital part of our city not remain in limbo indefinitely.”