Opposition to the Murrumbidgee Country Club’s longstanding plans to develop sections of its 18-hole golf course for medium density housing is growing with an overflow public meeting and a petition launched as a rezoning and change of lease proposal is considered by the planning authority.
Save our Green Spaces’ (SOGS) Susan Gray and organiser of Sunday’s meeting at the Urambi Village Community Centre, says the clubs’ plans will mean a loss of valuable green and community space that was public land.
She said Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur attended the meeting and had offered to take up the issue with the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate, particularly the club’s bid to deconcessionalise the lease.
“We are concerned that this issue is a Canberra-wide matter. Are Canberrans getting a fair go from government and its bureaucrats when it comes to how their local communities’ values are being protected?” she said.
A planning report prepared by Purdon Planning proposing the changes was lodged with the planning authority in March and is still being considered.
The club wants three parcels of land to be rezoned, from PRZ2 – Restricted Access Recreation Zone to residential, requiring a variation to the Territory Plan, and a change in the current concessional lease so it can build houses, town houses and units as part of plans to secure the club’s future.
The three sites are on Learmonth Drive (6.5ha), Drysdale Circuit (8500 square metres) and Kambah Pool Road (3.5ha), on Block 16 Section 7.
The planning report says Site 1 could provide 46 detached single dwelling blocks, an unspecified amount of multi-unit housing on Site 2, and up to 21 detached single dwelling blocks plus land suitable for multi-unit housing development on Site 3.
Purdon says the changes would not mean any reduction in playing holes and will generate revenue which will help the club improve its services and better maintain the golf course for its patrons.
It says a range of additional planning controls are proposed in response to concerns expressed by residents and members including that the Kambah Precinct Code be varied as part of the rezoning to incorporate restrictions on several aspects of future development including height, materials and finishes in order to protect amenity for local residents and the character of the suburb.
The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate has told SOGS that the club will have to show there is an economic and social benefit to the community for the rezoning and change of lease to proceed and that it has consulted widely with the community.