Victoria Carpets site sold for $1 million

THE future of the Victoria Carpets site in Castlemaine is under discussion after the property was sold to a local investor.

The industrial complex, which sits on 2.6316 hectares of land opposite the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens on Walker Street, was bought by a local person at the end of January.

Agent Brett Fitzpatrick from Castlemaine Property Group said it was sold for about $1 million, but he could not disclose the identity of the new owner.

“The property will settle at the end of May,” he said.

“At the moment the owner is in discussions with the council about what movement the site is open to.

“It is zoned industrial so there are limitations to it.

“There needs to be rezoning for either housing or retail.

“There are talks about what the council sees as the preferred use given the location opposite the botanical gardens

“There is no direct mindset, it is open to consideration.”

Mount Alexander Shire Council sustainable development director Jason Taylor said any plans would have to be subject to council approval.

“The land is currently zoned industrial. If the new owner wishes to undertake any uses not allowed in the Industrial Zone, they would need to request council rezone the land,” he said.

“Any rezoning would go through a thorough assessment, and public exhibition process.

“Generally this can take up to two years.

“We have not received any applications or requests in relation to this land.”

The sale comes eight months after more than 20 people lost their jobs when Victoria Carpets closed its doors last June.

The manufacturer had operated in the town for 20 years, spinning the woollen yarns used to make the carpets.

Victoria Carpets managing director Phil Smith said there was declining demand for woollen products in a “very competitive market”, which had made the factory unsustainable.

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