Council confirms plan to sell former Rocla site it purchased just two years ago

The former Rocla site. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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Penrith City Council will sell a site on Old Bathurst Road it purchased just two years ago.

The $50 million purchase of the former Rocla site at Emu Plains was controversial at the time, with a number of Councillors voting against it.

Council purchased the property as an “investment into the local community” and envisaged the site could provide a “modern industrial precinct of up to 40 lots to support local businesses in desperate need of space”.

The Weekender understands it has became apparent in recent times that Council’s plan to develop and manage the site was becoming problematic, particularly from a cost perspective.

Despite planning to offload the site, a Council spokesperson said its vision “remains steady”.

“In 2021, Council’s decision to purchase the 158-164 Old Bathurst Road, Emu Plains site was driven by a desire to generate more local employment opportunities and to attract businesses to base their operations in Emu Plains,” the spokesperson said.

“Council’s vision for the site remains steady and has now progressed to procure a Licenced Commercial Real Estate Agent to assist with the marketing and sale of the site. We know from our research for the Employment Land Strategy (2021) that zoned and serviced land of 5-10 hectares is in short supply in the Penrith Local Government Area. The sale of the site will fill the gap in the market and enable further industry-led development to build on the vision of the project through the delivery and help make a positive contribution to Penrith’s high-demand industry sector.

“The sale of the site forms part of Council’s strategic objective to reduce reliance on rateable income through the effective planning and management of City resources. The proceeds from the sale will be reinvested back into the Penrith community by allowing Council to continue to deliver high-quality services across the Penrith LGA and projects that will benefit our current and future generations.”

“Council’s next steps are to return the land to market to enable industry to realise the site’s potential.”

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