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Housing touchdown

Thursday, 1st May, 2008

Brian Slater Brian Slater

The former Rugby League Park looks set to become a new residential estate featuring up to 100 houses.

The park is in the process of being sold to a Mildura-based developer for the express purpose of building new houses, said Silverlea Incorporated CEO Brian Slater. The sale involves a total of 7.2 hectares which under one concept plan has potential room for 100 housing blocks, said Mr Slater.

He told BDT yesterday that water, power and sewerage is already available on the site."It's a goer...to the point where engineers are looking at storm water plans and surveying the sub-divided area.

"It won't be a done deal until we get DA approval from Council to go ahead and that could be some months down the track." Mr Slater was confident the project will proceed. "We did a lot of the groundwork for them and we've got it to the point it's going to be easy for them to develop."

He said it was Silverlea which insisted only houses be built on the land. "We saw a need for housing in the town and it (the site) is actually marked as an estate. "It will have a single entrance off Doe Street and be an enclave."

Mr Slater said he believes the buyer will stage the development, starting on the Rugby League Park side in the vicinity of 70-80 houses. "It's fairly well advanced." He said Silverlea had originally planned to expand its lavender farm to incorporate the former oval. "The initial idea was to have 14,000 to 20,000 plants there," said Mr Slater.

However, a rethink occurred once it was revealed at last year's Outback Development Forum that housing would be a critical factor in the economic development of Broken Hill. The forum said by 2010 there would be demand for up to 1,400 new dwellings. "After we looked at that potential, we thought again what we could do with the land."

Mr Slater said once it was determined the oval would not be used for sport again, Silverlea began investigating the process to sell the land.

It was able to convert the land to freehold and it was discovered the land south of Picton Sales Yard Road (which Silverlea also owned) was zoned residential. "When we added it to Rugby League Park, it started to look like an attractive development for a developer."

After 20 property developers showed no interest in a prospectus, the Mildura developer came onto the scene, said Mr Slater. He said the proceeds from the sale would be used to support people with a disability.

"It will shore up our financial position some years in the future."

He said Silverlea is also investigating catching storm water from the estate development for horticultural use.

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