About 200 people – close to the entire membership of the Fitzroy Golf Club – turned up to a public meeting at the club house last night to vent their frustration at the plan to carve up of the public golf course in New Plymouth.
Mayor Neil Holdom says selling off half the course to developers could net the council up to $50 million, but golfers and residents say it is valuable greenspace and should be retained.
Local resident and regional councillor Craig Williamson chaired the meeting and said he feared the proposed sell-off could be the thin edge of the wedge and other reserves could also be at threat.
But he said there was hope for the club in the form of a 2012 council report which spelled out its right to renew its 21-year lease when it expired in 2023.
“Council have looked at this before and they kicked it into touch because it’s too hard.
“And as far as I can see they can’t legally kick them [the club] out of their lease. The golf club has got a right to be here.
The council plans to spend half of the money raised from any sale on infrastructure items such as extending the Coastal Walkway, or revamping the city’s aquatic centre or indoor sports arena.
The other half would be used to create a property development fund.
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