Leda Group, Reg van Rij on the Kings Forrest Development site. INSET: The land adjacent to the Tweed Valley Hospital site.
Leda Group, Reg van Rij on the Kings Forrest Development site. INSET: The land adjacent to the Tweed Valley Hospital site. Scott Powick

Cudgen hospital site will have 'domino effect' - Leda

MEGA-developer Leda Holdings believes the new owner of the land adjacent to the $534-million Tweed Valley Hospital site at Cudgen has "taken the plunge” on rezoning the site in the future.

Leda Holdings Regional Manager Reg Van Rij said the new owner of the 5.69-hectare block alongside the new hospital site had paid three times what the land was worth, despite the land being zoned as State Significant Farmland (SSF).

"Much is made about the fact he is retired and the purchase is coincidental, but the fact of the matter is, the price paid for the hospital site by the State on our calculations was around $250,000 per hectare, the price paid here is three times that,” he said.

"It is zoned rural and classified as SSF, the essential point here, and there's nothing wrong with it, but someone has a view that the site has rezoning prospects and development potential.

"Our view and in the submissions we made to Health NSW, was the advent of the hospital there will have a domino effect over time.”

741 Cudgen Road
741 Cudgen Road Rick Koenig

Mr Van Rij said while he was not suggesting there was anything improper about the owner purchasing the site, it did show "speculative intent”.

"It does signal that at least one person has already taken the plunge on the prospect of rezoning and done so paying a price that seems to be around three times the price for Cudgen State Significant Farmland,” he said.

The owner of the site at 741 Cudgen Rd, former Brisbane property developer Alan Larkin, spoke out last month following speculation from Labor candidate for Tweed Craig Elliot, who said the purchase next to the hospital meant "the hospital at Cudgen has always been about property deals and allowing developers into Kingscliff”.

These claims came despite Labors pledge to move the hospital to Gold Coast billionaire Bob Ell's land at Kings Forest if it wins the election.

"I understand there is concern around development in the area, but I want to be clear that I have no plans, nor intentions, to deliver multi-level residential buildings on the site, so locals can be assured there is no 'Gold Coast'-style development agenda at play here,” Mr Larkin said.

Mr Larkin said the NSW Government Probity Office had reviewed the purchase of the site in June of last year and "found no conflicts of interest”.