Ailing Angas loses yet another Fernhill, Mulgoa buyer

Ailing Angas loses yet another Fernhill, Mulgoa buyer
Ailing Angas loses yet another Fernhill, Mulgoa buyer

Fernhill on Sydney’s western outskirts has been resisted for sale after its prospective buyer failed to secure loan and state government approvals to be redeveloped into a cemetery.

Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust had agreed to purchase the historic Mulgoa property in March for $30 million, but their conditional offer lapsed on Tuesday after Penrith city concerns of the impact of a cemetery on the heritage landscape surrounding the 1840s-built mansion.

The estate is best known as the former home of property tycoon Warren Anderson before bankruptcy forced him out and the keys were handed over in 2011 to his financier Angas Securities.

Businessman Simon Tripp and his wife Brenda were reported as buyers in 2012 after he lodged a caveat on the title claiming an interest, but their arrangement with Angas faltered.

In a statement this week Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust chief executive George Simpson said "with no formal approval from the Minister at this time RGCRT is unable to proceed with the purchase of Fernhill estate. As such, we understand the vendor will place the property back on the market.”

Listing agent Ken Jacobs, of Christie’s International, appears set to resist Fernhill which was built by the Cox family in the 1840s and remained in the family until 1896 when it was sold to the Wright family, of the Wright, Heaton and Company carrying firm.

The eight-bedroom homestead has a 16-seater dining room and a ballroom

The original stables were home to two Melbourne Cup winners, Chester in 1877 and Grand Flaneur in 1880, and the sandstone building next to them dates back to 1812.

Last year and again earlier this year debenture company Angas ­Securities faced the prospect of receivers to oversee its return of the $135 million owed to investors, but fear of a fire sale saw Angas Securities retain control of its flagship fund.

Some 2000 investors were told they must to wait another two years for their money to be returned given Angas's borrowers had fallen into arrears.

“Almost all of Angas’ remaining loan assets are non-performing and all borrowers in respect of loan assets are now subject to external administration,” it told investors.

Warren Anderson told The Australian he had written letters to politicians at all levels of government in an effort to save the estate from being turned into a cemetery. “I’m ­absolutely happy,” he said. 

He praised Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres, saying he had “seen the light as far Fernhill is concerned” by halting Rookwood’s plans.

 

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Western Sydney Fernhill Estate

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