The mortgagee of Arkarra Tea Gardens is trying to convince council planning officers to allow Arkarra to be turned into something other than a tea garden.
The mortgagee of Arkarra Tea Gardens is trying to convince council planning officers to allow Arkarra to be turned into something other than a tea garden.

Arkarra is a perfect house block

A NEW brew is on the boil for Arkarra Tea Gardens.

The iconic Hervey Bay tourist facility that has been in receivership for two years is the subject of ongoing talks at the council’s headquarters in Tavistock Street.

Arkarra’s mortgagee, Sydney-based Balmain Commercial, is trying to convince council planning officers to allow Arkarra to be turned into something other than a tea garden.

“We have had a number of contracts and proposals for the property but each time they have fallen over,” Balmain Commercial’s John Thomas said yesterday.

“We are aware of the obstacles and have met with council officers and are hoping some agreement can be reached to help us sell the property to recover costs.”

A recent formal valuation described the tea garden as being worth $750,000, partly because, the Chronicle understands, the valuer envisaged the 7045sqm freehold property could be subdivided into four blocks.

But currently the council says only one dwelling can be built on the site – a caretaker’s cottage.

The council will not allow a house to be built on the site – in spite of Elders principal Greg Berghofer fielding inquiries from buyers wanting to live on Arkarra, which sits next to the council-owned lagoons.

Arkarra is on the market at $460,000.

In July 2007 the council required the owners, Lloyd Worland and Pat Cowley, to provide acoustic fencing to lower the noise, car parking, upgraded sewerage and stormwater, better access, lighting, restrict seating, complete landscaping and pay almost $20,000 infrastructure charges.

FOOTNOTE: The Chronicle reported yesterday that councillor Sue Brooks had voted against development projects associated with the Arkarra Tea Gardens project.

This is incorrect.

While she did express concerns about some aspects involving projects at the centre, she in fact supported the previous owner’s development application in 2007.

She said yesterday that it would be distressing to see the gardens close in favour of a residential development.



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