Last week’s announcement of a proposed retirement development at North Lakes Resort Golf Club north of Brisbane has cause havoc among the local community, who are now determined to fight the proposition.
The news of the suggested land sale saw almost 200 locals and Federal LNP Member for Petrie Luke Howarth gather in front of the golf club on Saturday morning to protest the controversial scheme and to send a message to the decision makers.
Protest organiser Andrew Cathcart said this was just the start of a campaign to stop the course from being turned into a retirement village.
“It’s all about representing the mums and dads of North Lakes and the small business because we don’t want to see bulldozers come in and come down our fairways and destroy our green land, the Courier Mail reported.
“We want a lifestyle, we were promised a lifestyle and we’re going to get it.
“We don’t want thousands of cars coming into North Lakes, there’s already enough development.
“Let’s keep our golf course, let’s keep our green space and let’s keep the lifestyle we were promised.”
The potential land sell comes about after the privately owned course has suffered continuous financial loss in recent years due to a well-documented decline in golf participation rate, according to Club General Manager Adam Simpson.
In a closure statement released on Tuesday (24/7) Simpson said that efforts to sell the golf course to another golf operator had been unsuccessful and the bulk of the course land was now set to become public open space.
Mr Simpson also said the club would only continue to operate until the end of next year.
According to the release, the course owner is proposing to sell off a chunk of land – 11 hectares – to retirement living and aged-care operator The Village Retirement Group (VRG), while the remainder of 57 hectares would be retained for open space, environmental protection, and in the longer term, the possibility for community sport and recreation facilities.
The proposed VRG dwelling plan, if approved, includes 200 low-rise independent living units and a three-storey 100-bed aged-care facility on two sites on the land.
But the local community is not going to let the popular members club go down without a fight and has started a petition which has been distributed throughout the greater North Lakes area, with organisers now starting distribution in other divisions throughout the Moreton Bay Region, aiming to influence future council voting.
Locals have also created a “Save North Lakes Golf Course” page on Facebook with the hash-tag #SNLGC to rally the decision with over 3100 members to date.
“The suburb of North Lakes was built around the golf course and lakes! That’s how it was developed, the golf course IS the “heart” of North lakes!!”
“I had a very good chat with Chris Whiting MP this morning at IGA in North Lakes. He and his team are looking at every angle on what is happening to the golf course and it’s sale. He’ll be at the meeting on Tuesday evening to listen to the development application and other concerns.”
“Has anyone asked the owner why the north lakes community wasn’t made aware of the financial hardship of the club earlier. The community would have given feedback and would have done their best to support a local business. It sounds like no effort went into making the club profitable since i havent seen any advertising for the club for over 5 years.”
North Lakes Resort Golf Club and VRG are seeking feedback from the community regarding the proposal, prior to the preparation of a development application to Moreton Bay Regional Council.
Information on the proposed project will be presented at a series of community information sessions for club members and the community at the clubhouse.
North Lakes residents are encouraged to register for the sessions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 31671200 during business hours.
Photo credit: Carl Pollard, Andrew Cathcart, Dean Jeynes, Amy Carlson