ACT News

Southern Cross Club's $15 million fitness plan for Phillip pitch-and-putt site

A $15 million health and wellness centre has been proposed for the site of Woden's old pitch-and-putt golf course.

The four-storey building would occupy the south-eastern corner of the former course, which closed due to dwindling membership numbers and financial losses in 2013.

The Southern Cross Club, which owns the Phillip land, plans for the building to house its Woden gym after the lease expires at its current Irving Street premises in late 2017.

Early proposals for the building's use include a 24-hour gym, training rooms, allied health facilities and an early learning childcare centre.

Southern Cross Club chief executive Ian Mackay said he expected a development application would be lodged within the next two to three months, after consultation with the wider community.

"We've spoken to the members of the health clubs, we've hosted a session with the Woden Valley Community Council and then we'll take some more consultation to broader community members and our own members as well," he said.

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"[The plan is] the next step in that development and diversification into broader health and wellness."

The Pitch and Putt club's membership had dropped rapidly and cost the Southern Cross Club about $350,000 by the time it closed in February 2013.

The closure alarmed the council at the time, with fears about the loss of a recreational facility so close to the town centre.

Council chairman Martin Miller said attendees had raised concerns about the loss of green space, access and flooding at the proposed site when Mr Mackay addressed the monthly meeting in December.

The building site is outside the once-in-a-100-year flood affected area.

"I don't think there were any major concerns [raised], but given there's a bit of history with the closure of the Pitch and Putt site itself; one or two of the attendees raised concerns about that," he said.

"The broader issue in Woden is the closure is a lot of these recreation facilities. From the club's point of view of finding a new home for their gym, it's a good idea, and they suggested they'd have some other community facilities there."

Mr Mackay said he expected about 50 new jobs to be created during construction of the facility, and hoped the early learning centre and a wholefoods store for the site would help the wider community.

No plans had yet been made for the remaining two-thirds of the former pitch-and-putt site, he said.

"We're just blinkered on making sure we get the health and wellness precinct right, because obviously timing is critical for us with the lease running out at the end of 2017," he said.

"[Locals] want to ensure we're in keeping with the local area, but I think it's pleasing that we've got a plan to help diversify our business with a purpose-built centre that helps our existing members and the broader community."

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