A deal to develop 260 residential blocks, a retirement village and shops just outside The Gap is at a stalemate. The picturesque land, 150 hectares on the southern flank of the ranges, off Ragonesi Road, is owned by Ron Sterry.
The project has been limping along for some 10 years with some of the roads, sewerage and storm water drains in place, but no work in progress at present.
Last year a consortium of local and interstate interests made an offer to Mr Sterry with the intention of starting work immediately towards the completion of the development. The head of the consortium, David Cantwell, who co-owns a project management and certifying business in Alice Springs, says the offer is worth $15m. Contracts were drawn up following an undertaking by Mr Sterry to proceed. However, Mr Sterry pulled out of the deal at the "very last moment".
Mr Sterry says: "I rejected the offer because I felt it was not it was not good enough." PICTURE: The picturesque site from the air.