Montessori school purchase derailed by ‘onerous’ conditions imposed by Bassendean council

Casa Mia Montessori School board chairman Claudio Pellegrini, principal Janet Laing and students.
Casa Mia Montessori School board chairman Claudio Pellegrini, principal Janet Laing and students.

CASA Mia Montessori School has labelled the Town of Bassendean’s sale conditions on 11 Hamilton Street “too onerous” for it to proceed.

The school, which has been at the site for 18 years, wants to buy the lot to help secure its future in Bassendean.

In April, the council expressed that it would be willing to sell 11 Hamilton Street if the Town had power of attorney over the property, an absolute caveat over the title at the time of transfer and a caveat restricting the school from mortgaging the property.

The school asked the Town to reconsider the conditions, but councillors rejected the request at last month’s meeting.

School board chairman Claudio Pellegrini said the board felt the conditions were too onerous and hoped the Town would reconsider a standard property sale.

“We don’t really see why there has to be all these encumbrances on the property,” he said.

“We expected some conditions, but when we received the offer we were quite surprised because essentially it means that we would pay for the property but would have no real ownership of it.

“It would put us in a worse position than we are now.”

A council report states 11 Hamilton Street is currently zoned R20, but being in the Town Centre Area Strategy, is expected to be rezoned to Town Centre zoning, at which time a new market evaluation of the property will be required.

The property was last valued in 2013 at $520,000.

At last month’s meeting, the council voted to extend the school’s current two-year lease renewal, ending December 31, 2017, to a five-year lease with a five-year option to extend.

“The main objective of the board is to have a sustainable future in Bassendean, so unfortunately if we can’t buy the property we are kind of forced to take the next best option, which is the five-year lease,” Mr Pellegrini said.

MORE: Three more division one Lotto winners for WA 

MORE: Police dog Bucky arrests alleged East Perth burglar 

MORE: Man who ran over woman twice avoids jail term