Land parcels at 50 Otford Road, Helensburgh to be auctioned in November

Decades after warnings it might never be rezoned for home building, controversial Helensburgh land has again been listed for sale. 

The site at 50 Otford Road, Helensburgh is an estate comprising 26 vacant bush blocks ranging in size from 696sqm to 1797sqm. 

There is a price guide of $66,000 per lot, with the parcels of land to be auctioned on November 16. 

However, Wollongong City Council has urged “anyone considering the purchase of this land to seek separate independent legal advice before proceeding”. 

In 1985, council warned prospective buyers of the ‘Lady Carrington Estates’that the Helensburgh land advertised for sale at up to $30,000 per block might never be rezoned for home building. 

This followed an advertisement for sales at the estate, which stated that if the subdivision was not rezoned within five years, “you may keep your block or receive a full refund, plus 10 per cent”.  

This week, a council spokesperson said under the provisions of the Wollongong Local Environmental Plan the land use zoning is E3 Environmental Management. 

The Illawarra Mercury's 1985 story on the land sale.

The Illawarra Mercury's 1985 story on the land sale.

“While it may appear you could build a dwelling in this area under the E3 zoning, the specific lots do not meet the minimum lot size provisions (40 hectares minimum) to enable a dwelling entitlement to be established,” the spokesperson said. 

“Anyone considering purchasing land at this location would be doing so on a speculative basis that the planning controls may change in the future.

“Reference to council’s past plans to consider purchasing formerly zoned 7d lands do not related to this site.”

Some residents have called on the council or state government to buy the land and include it as part of the Royal National Park. 

The council spokesperson said council “has no plans to purchase the land at 50 Otford Road, which is currently on the market, at this time”.

“Prior to 2010 the land was zoned 7d Hacking River Environmental Protection.

“It is now zoned E3 Environmental Management. Since the introduction of planning controls in the 1940s, it has never been zoned for residential development.

“Apart from Otford Road, there are no public roads that provide access to these lots.”

Selling agents, Belle Property Illawarra declined to comment.