Controversial golf course plan withdrawn

Published 3:37pm 21 November 2023

Controversial golf course plan withdrawn
Words by Nick Crockford

Plans for a retirement village and aged care facility on the former North Lakes golf course land, have today been withdrawn.

Save North Lakes Golf Course (SNLGC), which has fought a five-year battle against the development, revealed on its Facebook page this afternoon that The Village Retirement Group (TVRG) has “withdrawn its DA”.

“Breaking News: Council have just informed us that the Developer has just withdrawn their DA so it will not be decided. Therefore no vote tomorrow!!!!” the SNLGC post said.

That was followed by the formal letter of withdrawal appearing on Moreton Bay City Council's DA Tracker website, which is publicly available.

A spokesperson for SNLGC told Moreton Daily: “So After five years, on the eve of a decision the DA has been withdrawn! It is disappointing, but we still hold the position that there is no better pathway that they can take if legislation changes, so let’s get a golf course back”.

The development application (DA) was due to have gone before Moreton Bay City Councillors at tomorrow’s General Meeting in Strathpine.

According to the agenda notes, available online, council officers who had handled the DA, recommended the application be refused.

In the agenda, it says council officers “have formed the view that the application is in conflict with the DCP (Development Control Plan) and there are not sufficient planning grounds to justify approving the application despite the conflict”.

The Village Retirement Group (TVRG) wanted to build up to 250 retirement homes and a 120-bed residential care home on about 14 hectares of the 67-ha site.

TVRG was offering to return almost 44ha to Moreton Bay City Council to be used as “open space” but retain around eight hectares, which currently had no development plans.

This move comes more than a year after JH Northlakes Ltd submitted new plans and responded to two lengthy ‘information requests’ from council.

The public consultation period earlier this year saw a record 4095 submissions, 3801 properly made, 294 incorrectly. Of those 3460 were against the development, 341 in support.

Controversial golf course plan withdrawn
North Lakes Resort Golf Club after it closed.

Key dates over last 25 years

1998

DCP (Development Control Plan) gazetted with standards for North Lakes population, open space and infrastructure.

2001

Lensworth/Lendlease gets approval from Pine Rivers Shire Council for 68-hectare golf course.

2002

Course land sold to Club Corp. North Lakes Resort Golf Club opens in November.

2004

In February, Golf Australia rates North Lakes Resort Golf Club in top 25 public access courses

2006

Course reported to have been sold by Club Corp to Global Sport

2009

Global financial crisis “decimated’ golf participation, especially corporate golf, says TVRG in August 2021 media release.

2018

Reports North Lakes Resort golf course was to be sold to TVRG and close.

TVRG says, in August 2021 media release, by 2018 membership at North Lakes Resort Golf Club had dropped to under 150 and the course needed 150 rounds for 360 days of year to be commercially viable.

Save North Lakes Golf Course (SNLGC) action group launched by residents. Fundraising starts, online petition opens, legal support lined-up, concerns aired to community groups.

2019

August - JH Developments buys golf course land. TVRG says, in August 2021 media release, the course “ran at loss for many years”, the business and land had been on the market for more than five years and there were offers to buy it.

August 11 – North Lakes Resort golf course closes. TVRG reveals plans for retirement village and aged care facility. 47 hectares would remain open space for public.

2021

August - TVRG announces additional plans for independent school on eight hectares of the former golf course and will seek approval through Ministerial Infrastructure Designation (MID), direct to Deputy Premier and State Member for Murrumba Steven Miles.

September – State Govt opts not to support TVRG’s MID approach “for reasons including that there is no identified funding for the development of the school.”

October 19 – Application by JH Northlakes Pty Ltd, seeks a "variation request" to the Mango Hill Infrastructure Development Control Plan (Mango Hill DCP)

December – MBRC says application not properly made. TVRG challenges decision in the Planning and Environment Court

2022

April – Hearing at Planning and Environment Court in Brisbane

June 10 – Court decision released backing MBRC, saying application was not properly made

July – JH Northlakes says it will resubmit application to vary development control plan in North Lakes.

September – JH Northlakes lodges new development application for North Lakes Golf Course land. SNLGC says it is “bigger than before” with 243 retirement units, 120-bed 24/7 nursing home facility with four new entrances on Copeland Dr.

November 1 – MBRC sends 11-page additional ‘information request’ to JH North Lakes over its application. JH Northlakes given 12 months to respond.

2023

April – Response to information request received, with minor changes.

June – Driven by SNLGC, MBRC received record 4095 public consultation; 3801 properly made, 294 not properly made; 3460 against the development, 341 in support.

October – Additional information request sent by council. Response received on October 25.

November 21 – TVRG is reported to have withdrawn its development application.

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