Fore! North Lakes Golf Course Up For Sale
Plans to redevelop the picturesque North Lakes Golf Course has caused an uprising by residents trying to protect their properties, their safety, their community and their beloved 18 holes.
But the current North Lakes Resort Golf Club General Manager, Adam Simpson, says holding onto a loss-making business isn’t an option and the club will close in late 2019.
The owners of the course have gone into an option agreement with The Village Retirement Group (VRG) to sell the privately-owned land and build a 200-unit low-rise retirement village and a three-storey aged care facility across 11 hectares.
Mr Simpson told Feature Magazine the remaining 57 hectares of land will be made available as “community green space”, in what he considers a “win-win” for the North Lakes community.
“There is a need for more retirement living in North Lakes,” Mr Simpson says.
“Golf courses need golfers to keep them going and there is not enough of them in this area to sustain these operations.
“This development will be mindful of the property owners who back onto the golf course and the people who never got to use the green space before who will now have access to a greater amenity.”
Mr Simpson says project planners are working on the development proposal in line with feedback from the community and an application for the development is yet to be submitted.
But residents and stakeholders of the newly-formed not-for-profit, Save North Lakes Golf Course, are not optimistic about the sale, or the redevelopment plans.
North lakes resident Carl Pollard summed it up.
“There’s 20,000 of us here and there will only be two winners,” Mr Pollard says. “The person selling the property and the developers. And I don’t think that’s good for society.”
Save North Lakes Golf Course campaigner and keen golfer Craig Brown says more than 2,500 people signed an e-petition to block the sale of the land to VRG, with focus groups being held to educate residents on the impact of the sale.
“You’re not just talking a loss in property value or the lifestyle loss of living on a meticulously-maintained golf course,” Mr Brown says. “Redevelopment here will likely leave unmaintained bushland and increase the risk of antisocial behaviour, illegal dumping and trail bike riding.
“That is all aside from the fact the Mango Hill Infrastructure Development Control Plan specifically lists purposes for which the premises may not be used – with accommodation units, townhouses and retirement villages clearly on that list. If this golf course is sold it needs to be sold to another golf course owner.”
While the residents wait for the official development application to be tabled to Council, locals in the area are trying to support the operations at the golf club the best they can to protect the current staff.
“We are mums and dads and small business owners who have come together because we know in our hearts this is wrong and are prepared to do whatever we have to do to fight,” Mr Brown says.