RETIREMENT village proprietor Chas Jacobsen has bought the last parcel of the former Ansett estate in Mt Eliza for an “undisclosed sum”, believed to be around $33 million.
The 22.3-hectare block is an addition to the neighbouring 11.7-hectare Gunyong Valley estate which he bought from the estate of the late Lady Joan Ansett for $14.5 million in 2006.
Equity Trustees announced the sale after a “comprehensive six month expressions-of-interest campaign” for the property owned by the R M Ansett Trust in Mt Eliza.
The land, on four titles of varying sizes and with 100 metres of beachfront, is at the corner of Kunyung Road and Albatross Avenue. It was sold as a single parcel on an unconditional basis with contracts signed Friday 8 June.
The sale price, purchaser and details of the agreement were not disclosed.
The chief operating officer of Village Glen retirement village at Capel Sound, Peter Neilson, said Mr Jacobsen was “happy with the purchase and the price he paid”.
“What he does with it is up to him. He knows all about its zonings and what can be done there. It’s a significant land holding,” Mr Neilson said.
He said Mr Jacobsen lived on the adjoining block with his family. “He farms cattle there and so we can presume that will continue.”
Equity Trustees managing director Mick O’Brien described the sale as a “great outcome for the Ansett Trust which will now be able to invest more funds to meet its charitable purpose – to assist children to take their place in life.”
Since its establishment in 2010 the trust has distributed more than $5 million to programs that assist young people, including those in out-of-home care, charities that run children’s programs and scholarships to schools on the Mornington Peninsula, he said.
Mornington MP David Morris said it was “encouraging that the R M Ansett Trust has said that the purchaser is someone with a great understanding of the significance of this parcel of land”.
He said the “initial approach taken by the Trust’s consultants (Ernst and Young) was very different, suggesting that this was a land bank that had potential for redevelopment for commercial, hospitality, healthcare or education, of course, with the usual disclaimer subject to approval”.
“I welcome the change of heart.”
Mr Morris said the green break between Mt Eliza and Mornington was defined and protected by long-standing urban boundaries “and this land is a very important part of it”.
“Any development of the land must protect the existing landscape and be fully consistent with the existing green wedge zoning.”
Mr Morris said any approval for changes to the urban boundary would have to pass through state parliament. “While it is possible, the chances of a successful application are probably less than 1 in 100 if not 1 in 1000,” he said.
“I call on the Minister for Planning [Richard Wynne], and the Premier [Daniel Andrews], to join me in a commitment to oppose any move to weaken current controls or to allow quasi-urban residential development.”
During the sales campaign, Mt Eliza Association for Environmental Care president Des Berry said the land could not be subdivided for residential development.
“It is in the green wedge and any prospective buyers should carefully check the legal ramifications of any possible subdivision,” he said.
“We are an environment group and our aim is to protect the area’s significant native vegetation, especially along the foreshore.”
Mr Berry said his group doubted the land’s existing boundaries could be “realigned” as stated in the Ernst and Young brochure.
“We would fight any redevelopment,” he said.