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Ashburton District Council has decided to cancel the sale of Lot 9 in the Ashburton Business Estate.
The decision, which was made by Councillors late last week, has come as a result of the potential purchaser failing to meet Council deadlines for information about how they intended to run a water bottling plant from the site.
Ashburton Mayor Angus McKay said, "The Council has twice, in the past year, agreed to extend the due diligence timeframe for the potential purchaser. A further extension was requested until 30 September 2016 but before we granted that we wanted to know more about the specifics of the operation."
"In particular, we wanted confirmation that the plant would be using bottles not water bladders. This was important in relation to concerns raised by our community," he said.
"The purchaser has not provided this information and it has given us enough cause for concern to cancel the Sale and Purchase Agreement."
Council is also still considering the feedback it received from Ngāi Tahu and Arowhenua Rūnanga, and the online petition and community deputation from the two lobby groups presented to Council at the June Council meeting. A report on community feedback to the proposed sale is due to be presented to the Council’s July meeting.