The sale of a prime parcel of land will bring more blocks onto the market as a council report shines a light on a land shortage in Warrnambool. KATRINA LOVELL reports.
The sale of a parcel of land for development into a new residential estate has raised questions about Warrnambool City Council's plans for a new bridge over the Merri River.
Land to the east of the new Special Developmental School on Wollaston Road was sold on Friday within the $1.5 million to $1.65 million range that it was marketed at. The 60-acre lot is expected to be turned into a new housing sub-division within two years.
The sale comes as a new report into available land supply in the city shows that while there was plenty of land zoned for use as housing blocks, there was just over two years worth of lots ready to go.
The Wollaston Road land was bought by a group from Ballarat which is also behind a new residential development on Mortlake Road it hopes to release to the market for sale in the next few weeks.
The 43-lot subdivision on Mortlake Road called the Riviera Estate, which is located between the Grange Estate and Turner Estates, will be sold in two stages.
Construction of roads within the Riviera Estate is yet to get under way but that is expected to start in the next few months.
In 2015, the council said a new bridge over the Merri River at Bromfield Street to provide another link to into the city was not expected to be built for at least a decade.
However, on Friday the council said that while the potential for a bridge had been referenced in its North of the Merri Structure Plan, and as a development contributions project, no decision had been made as to whether it would get the go ahead "in the near future".
Harris Wood Real Estate partner Danny Harris said the plan was to develop the land that had just been purchased on Wollaston Road but it was likely to be two years before it would make it to market. "Both these sites we're talking about I think will be very well received," Mr Harris said.
He said both sites were very close to amenities and were part of a trend where most of the new land was getting further and further out from the city centre.
The farm land on Wollaston Road had been in the same family since 1925 and had been used as a dairy until about 1990 when it became grazing land.
The 60-acre block was the last large-scale block to make it into developers' hands in the north of the Merri growth corridor.
The land is expected to be turned into about 120 lots for housing, but a section close to the Merri River was classified as low-lying flood plain.
There are three housing estates under development nearby, including the Riverside Estate, Wollaston Way Estate and the Riverland Estate.
Warrnambool City Council's North of Wollaston Road structure plan in 2011 found there was room for 2200 lots in the growth area, which was tipped to accommodate a population of between 4500 and 5500.
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