One of Canberra’s biggest developers has vowed not to pursue land development after buying the Canberra Equestrian Centre at Stromlo.
The 600-acre rural block was sold in June to Cooleman Pty Limited, a subsidiary of the Doma Group.
The Doma Group is responsible for major residential and commercial development across Canberra, including Dockside at Kingston and Realm Park at Barton.
Despite concerns from some residents and horse riders, Doma director Jure Domazet said the land would not be developed.
Mr Domazet said the property had a personal connection and had been bought on the basis of the business and land value.
“We believe that with appropriate investment the existing building can be strengthened,” he said.
“We also believe that there may be future conversion of other inner-Canberra agistment properties, which would also strengthen this business.”
The ACT government owns agistment properties, including four in the inner south and three in the inner north.
There is a waiting list of about 270 people, some with more than one horse, looking to agist on the land.
Territory Agistment, managed by Ryan Walsh, oversees the government paddocks across Canberra.
“There is always pressure on government horse paddocks for development, they’re seen as a bit of a land bank by the government,” Mr Walsh said.
Territory Agistment has had some interest from agistees at Canberra Equestrian Centre looking for somewhere to move their horses.
Mr Domazet said when news originally filtered out the Doma Group had bought the land, customers were considering leaving.
“They were concerned about the future for their horses. Much effort has been expended in reassuring these customers they do not need to be concerned,” he said.
“We take over management of the property next year and expect the transition will go largely unnoticed.”
Weston Creek Community Council chairman Tom Anderson said it would be disappointing if the land was developed.
“If it has been sold it is something that the community has a right to be made aware of now, not at some time in the future when plans may have been made for rezoning and development,” he said.
First appeared in The Canberra Times 4 Oct 14