Call to support controversial plan

Published 6:00am 15 September 2023

Call to support controversial plan
Words by Nick Crockford

The developer behind controversial plans for the former North Lakes golf course site, says an “outstanding opportunity” is before Moreton Bay City Council.

Using the Community Comment section this week’s full council meeting, Simon Forsyth, representing JH Northlakes, told councillors the proposal “should be supported”.

JH Northlakes plans include 250 independent living units, 120-bed residential care and turning 46ha of “private asset” into public open space.

However, there has been fierce opposition by residents to the development application, which now has more than 8500 documents - a council record - publicly available online.

The golf course opened in 2002 and was rated in Australia's top 25, but was sold in 2018 and closed the following year with, Mr Forsyth said, less than 200 members.

Call to support controversial plan
North Lakes Resort Golf Club after it closed.

“This proposal should be supported as council’s own forward planning documents anticipate up to 85 per cent of this land becoming public asset and identify the need for further open space in the North Lakes/Mango Hill catchment,” Mr Forsyth said.

“There is a demonstrated need for seniors housing and aged care facilities within this catchment.

“Realistically this land is under utilised urban footprint and should be used to address housing shortfall in our communities. Public open space dedication does not create any conflict.

“There is a clear public interest to secure 46ha of private land for public open space in North Lakes.”

Among the “key considerations” Mr Forsyth raised was that the proposal “does not result in any change to flooding or stormwater management outcomes”.

Call to support controversial plan
An artist's impression from The Village Retirement Group's development application.

He also said: “A retirement village and residential care facility are two of the lowest traffic generating uses, less than the golf course and easily accommodated within the road infrastructure of North Lakes”.

Mr Forsyth said the volume of submissions to the development application on “environmental, flooding, traffic and open space” issues “was expected”.

Adding in JH Northlakes’ opinion: “Unfortunately, in each of these items, the submitters have generally misunderstood the proposal, its potential impacts or the mitigations proposed.”

Mr Forsyth said if the proposal is not supported “a golf course will not return to this land. It is simply not commercially viable”.

The Community Comment segment of fortnightly full council meetings allow up to five minutes to address the chamber. No discussion follows.

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