BRINGING GREAT PRICES: Six expressions of interest have been received in these dilapidated but heritage protected ‘company cottages’ that havebeen a blight on Portland for years.IN the madness that is the Sydney propertymarket, ruins that should have beendemolished decades earlier bring ridiculousprices.
In regional centres where the madnesshas not yet taken over one would have towonder why anyone would bother with aeuphemistically named ‘renovator’sdelight’.
But it does happen.
Late last year when the new ownerswere addressing a public meeting on initialplans for redevelopment of PortlandCement Works the company representativessaid the heritage restrictions made itnecessary to invite expressions of interestin old company cottages in Williwa Streetbefore any application to Lithgow Councilto demolish them.
Anyone in the audience who may havebeen tempted was cautioned the olddwellings virtually require total rebuild.
The cottages are uninhabitable hovelsand have been an embarrassment toPortland for years.
But there have been various intereststhat have campaigned for their heritageprotection and preservation.
The initial reaction from the largelylocal audience at the meeting was that ‘noone in their right mind would take thoseon’.
How wrong they were.
The company, AWJ Civil, confirmedyesterday that six expressions of interesthad been received.
Company director Martin O’Connellsaid there had been six formal EOIs, ‘eachwarranting some consideration pendingcouncil’s comments’.
He said the company’s report was nowwith council but confidentiality agreementsprevented specific disclosure ofwhat was being proposed.
Mr O’Connell said AWJ Civil is on trackto commence demolition of the old locoshed and ‘bachelors cottage’ by the end ofthis month.
These demolitions have already beenapproved.
Another community consultation sessionis also planned for this month, tentativelyaround May 21.
The company can then outline demolitionextents, progress of recent monthsand further development opportunitiesand options seeking community input.
“Hopefully we can make an announcementof site branding and framing at thattime,” he said.
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