The car park at the centre of a Federal Court battle was not the target of compulsory acquisition by the state government, owners were assured last year.
The advice that "the Crown is not seeking to compulsorily acquire this property" came in correspondence to Car Park Super directors Don and Janet Allen dated November 25, 2020.
The Examiner has sighted the correspondence.
Car Parks Super own the Paterson Street Central car park which is the proposed site for a Creative Precinct.
Creative Property Holdings, the company which proposed the precinct, is taking legal action against Car Parks Super in the Federal Court.
Despite extensive ongoing negotiations between the parties since June last year, no sale was ever finalised.
In recent correspondence sighted by The Examiner, CPH said: "CPH is doing all it can in an effort to rearrange its financing proposals, but as of this time has not been able to arrange its finances in such a way as to place it in a position where an unconditional offer can be put".
The company said that an offer on terms more favourable than previously proposed by CPH was creating "significant difficulty". Federal Court documents reveal contracts were proposed at a price of $12 million last year.
The state government has provided a $6 million interest free loan to the council for use in the proposed development and federal government funds of about $17.5 million are available.
State Growth Minister Roger Jaensch said: "I understand the property remains the subject to a contract for sale and that there is currently a legal process underway between the vendor and private developer".
"Any acquisition of land by the Crown is undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act 1993." Under the act, compulsory acquisition is possible for public purposes including transport and education.
When asked about compulsory acquisition, Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the council was eager to see a strategic, higher order use for the site as soon as possible.
"However, the acquisition of the site is currently before the federal court and we expect a resolution in the near future," he said. "Until that time it would be inappropriate to provide further comment or engage in hypotheticals."
Justice David O'Callaghan has extended five times since June 8, 2021 the time for the applicant (CPH) to file and serve its written submissions. The last extension was to 4pm yesterday. CPH director Chris Billing did not provide an update.
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