Becton sells Byron resort site
BECTON’S controversial Northbeach Byron Bay site has been sold.
Graham Dunn, of Byron Bay Property Sales, yesterday confirmed the 88ha site was sold to an Australian buyer just before Christmas.
Mr Dunn said he could not reveal any details about the buyer, or the price paid for the prime beachfront site, although Sydney newspaper reports suggested it could fetch up to $25 million.
Becton put the property on the market in April last year, marking the final chapter in the troubled company’s attempts to redevelop the site.
The Melbourne-based development group bought the site from Club Med in 2001 for $12.8 million – a price that represented a big loss for the French-based company who bought it in 1991 for $16 million.
Club Med had fought a long and bitter battle with the community over its plans to redevelop the site, and Becton became involved in a similar fight.
The ‘Bugger off Becton’ campaign culminated with a huge rally at Main Beach that was televised nationally.
However, Becton eventually won the support of the State Government and then planning minister, Frank Sartor, who gave the go-ahead for the first stage of the $51 million, 117-home tourist redevelopment.
The completed project, 2.2km north of the town, was to include 354 holiday homes worth $130 million.
In August 2008 the Byron Bay Beach Resort closed its doors to make way for Northbeach.
However later that year Becton announced the redevelopment was on hold.
The company had been hit hard by the credit crisis and was struggling with debt.
Mr Dunn, who became an agent for the site just before Christmas, said the history of the site had not made it any more difficult to sell.
“Selling beachfront property is never difficult,” he said.
The site still has approval for a caravan park, tourist cabins and holiday houses.
Comment from Becton was not available yesterday.