WODONGA Council have resisted offloading land at the Logic industrial estate because it involved an "uncomfortable sale price".
A staff recommendation to Monday night's council meeting to enter a deal with Birdwood Energy and Derwent Industries failed to attract a seconder after being moved by councillor John Watson.
Instead a motion to enter further negotiations with the companies was passed 6-1 after being put by councillor Graeme Simpfendorfer.
It saw council resolve not to proceed because the sale price left councillors "uncomfortable" and called on city chief executive Mark Dixon to hold more talks, with negotiation terms decided in secret at Monday night's special meeting.
Mr Gobel had argued the price of $5 per square metre for 93 hectares, totalling about $4.6 million, was not adequate and would set a bad precedent.
Cr Simpfendorfer said he did not believe it was in the ratepayers' interest to proceed with the sale.
His views were echoed by colleagues Libby Hall, Olga Quilty and Kat Bennett who said the proposed price tag could not be justified.
Councillor Ron Mildren said in addition to the sale figure he did not believe the project was "going to give us the best outcome for Logic".
IN OTHER NEWS:
He said a planned foundry was good, but a renewable energy project would be better suited outside the Barnawatha North industrial hub.
"I'm concerned about the impact on putting this valuable industrial land...under solar panels in such closer inner areas of the broader site," Cr Mildren said.
"It's going to take away the economies of scale that were proposed to be created."
Cr Watson, the only nay voter, said he was "very disappointed" the sale was not supported at the "last hour".
He said only one person had raised concerns about the project with him and forecast blowback.
"I think we're going to be really put under the hammer now in the community by not going through with the project," Cr Watson said.
Staff warned rejecting the sale could see the development lost to nearby councils.