BYRON Shire Council has awarded a tender to commence work on the controversial Roundhouse subdivision.
The 1.3-hectare site at Ocean Shores will be subdivided into 11 residential lots, with money from the sale of the Council-owned land going into a fund for infrastructure work in the north of the shire.
At a council meeting on Thursday, Ocean Shores residents requested that council delay the tender for 60 days so that they could try to raise the funds to purchase the land.
But Mayor Simon Richardson said the community had been given six months to raise the funds and council believed a further delay would result in increased costs because it would push it into the Christmas holiday period and they may need to go back to tenderers to reconfirm their prices.
"Council resolved to subdivide six months ago and gave the community a chance to get together and raise the money.
"We said, "If you guys get close, we would prefer you to buy it", but we heard nothing until the day we had to vote (on the tender) which was too late. There was no real commitment (to raising the funds) so we deemed that we had to move on," Cr Richardson said.
Byron Council's general manager Ken Grainger said the community would need to raise $2.5 million to secure the site. President of the Ocean Shores Community Association, Jan Mangleson said they felt betrayed because prior to the last local government elections, most of the candidates had said they would preserve the Roundhouse site as a community asset.
"This has always been a very special piece of land for the community and we have continually said we want it preserved for public use as a cultural precinct," she said.
Cr Richardson said money from the sale of the land would go towards fast-tracking roads and footpaths and "other areas that have been identified as being needed" in the north of Byron Shire.
The successful tender for the subdivision work was JM Bashforths & Sons Pty Ltd.