Newleaf buyers still waiting for Bonnyrigg houses

"Left in limbo": A buyer in stage four development of Newleaf's $733 million master plan housing wants his deposit back. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale
"Left in limbo": A buyer in stage four development of Newleaf's $733 million master plan housing wants his deposit back. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

BUYERS in Newleaf's $733 million master plan to renew a former Bonnyrigg public housing estate say they have been left in limbo.

The developer, Becton Property Group Ltd, went into limited receivership in February last year just as stage three was completed.

After the announcement, Newleaf temporarily stopped construction for stage four, which was expected to be completed in December last year.

A buyer in stage four of the development, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Champion he was not being told anything about its progress.

"I put a 20 per cent deposit — $35,000 — on one of the two-bedroom units in stage four of the development in late 2011," he said.

"The contract I signed for the purchase says that settlement has to be made within three years. My contract runs out in March next year and I haven't been told anything except that it's 'business as usual'."

The man said every six months after being told that, he had received a letter in the mail from Newleaf stating that construction would continue when a new builder was engaged.

"This year they kept saying the same thing so I spoke to a guy at Newleaf who told me I have two options: I could back out and get my deposit back or I could give them an extension," he said.

"I want a refund because there's no way the construction of stage four will be complete by the time my contract ends.

"But my conveyancer from Newleaf said if I pull out before my contract ends, I can lose my deposit."

He said he was frustrated because for the past two years he has been kept in "limbo".

Newleaf Communities general manager Peter Williamson said Newleaf was still looking to appoint a new developer, which would allow the start of stage four construction as soon as possible.

"We are conscious that the delay in commencing construction is a source of concern and frustration for those who are waiting for building works to start," he said.

"The process to appoint a new developer is complex and may still take some time to conclude."

Mr Williamson said that while Newleaf was unable to confirm a timetable for the resumption of construction, he was working to appoint a replacement developer as quickly as possible.

"The Newleaf project partners are happy to meet individual stage four purchasers wishing to discuss their circumstances," he said.

The 13-year redevelopment plan began in 2009 and has been divided into 18 stages.

The development was due to be completed in July 2021, which will see the Bonnyrigg estate house about 2400 new and refurbished dwellings.


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