Based in Boolaroo, Bunderra is a 76 lot subdivision residential development from the Stevens Group located on the south side of the Pasminco site. The well located site is close to transport, existing infrastructure and jobs, presenting an affordable option for young people, families and first home buyer markets.
Bringing approximately 186 new families to the region, the development supports Lake Macquarie’s strong population growth plans and provides key housing supply in a strategic location.
Due to its location and affordability, the Bunderra Estate initially sold well off-the-plan. However a legal matter between the Stevens Group, Lake Macquarie City Council (LMCC) and the Administrator of the adjoining Pasminco land arose in 2017 that put the development at significant risk for registration of the lots.
The dispute included the timing, cost and delivery of upstream drainage infrastructure and the associated financial and contractual responsibilities of each party.
During the lengthy process of court and mediation, LMCC were restrained from signing the linen plan and as such could not provide the developer with registerable documents preventing the land from being settled. The buyers were understandably frustrated as a result of not being able to access the land which they had purchased. Costs for their houses were rising, due to CPI, and an extended timetable of a court case.
Because of the pending legal matters the Stevens Groups and LMCC were not able to engage in discussions and the matter remained unresolved despite both parties having similar objectives.
- Completed and presented economic analysis to LMCC to assist them in understanding the importance of the project to the city’s economy and social development.
- Identified and articulated the common goals between Stevens Group and LMCC. Both parties had a strong interest in activating the land so the purchasers could build, whereas the administrator of the Pasminco land did not. We spent time with the key decision-makers at LMCC and the Stevens Group to communicate this shared purpose and alignment.
- Provided detailed briefings and assisted with the preparation of strategic responses between Stevens Group and LMCC. This enabled the two parties to engage in constructive conversations that built trust and understanding between the organisations and assisted with conflict resolution. This created a strong and united front when dealing with the Administrator and the legal matters that had arisen.
- Helped minimise and manage reputational risk. Once the legal matter was resolved, we helped lobby for the establishment of a dedicated planning team at LMCC to fast-track each of the purchasers’ Development Approvals. This helped to minimise reputational risk to both parties, and assisted land purchasers to recover some of the lost time caused by the legal disputes.
The result was positive. The Stevens Group won the court proceedings against the receivers for Pasminco and with the support from LMCC, all land purchasers who wished to proceed settled their lots and had their house plans fast tracked. The Stevens Group continues to work and invest in LMCC.