THE sale of Belmont Airport has been dealt a significant blow, with a consortium of buyers walking away from a long-awaited deal to purchase the strip.
Owner Mirvac had been close to terms on a sale of the airport, believed to be in the neighbourhood of $4.8 million, with a group of representatives from helicopter charter and pilot training organisation Newcastle Helicopters and Merewether-born Red Bull air race pilot Matt Hall.
But negotiations on the deal appear to have fallen through, with Swansea MP Garry Edwards pointing the finger of blame at costs associated with lodging a development application on the site, believed to be about $250,000.
He said he was ‘‘extremely disappointed, and horrified’’ that the buyer had been allowed to walk away.
‘‘I’m seeking more information from Mirvac, but if it is the case [that development fees have played a part] my position is, what is wrong with the existing use,’’ he said.
‘‘I would like to see all the parties get together to see if we can bring the original syndicate back [and] I’ll certainly be pursuing that.’’
But Lake Macquarie Mayor Jodie Harrison disputes the claim the council played a part in the deal breaking down, saying the buyers had always known about the fees and other issues such as site contamination were to blame.
‘‘They [the consortium] had already spoken with council officers [before backing out],’’ she said.
‘‘I think this is a case of negotiations between Mirvac and the consortium not going as well as they might have.’’