Golf club at loggerheads with Kambah residents over rezoning

A group of Kambah residents are at loggerheads with the Murrumbidgee Country Club over the club's plans to develop housing on three separate pieces of land around the edge of the golf course.

The club wants to rezone 11 hectares of its land for housing to accommodate as many as 67 separate homes and another 50-53 townhouses, and has now launched a petition calling on the ACT parliament to support the move.

Club president Dean Hill has hit out at a residents group set up to oppose the development, accusing the group of spreading incorrect information and saying it refused to allow the club to speak at a recent community meeting.

Front, Kambah residents Lukas Bauer 11, his sister Saskia and their dog Max. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Front, Kambah residents Lukas Bauer 11, his sister Saskia and their dog Max. Photo: Jamila Toderas

But Save Our Green Space spokeswoman Susan Gray said the golf club proposal would rob Kambah of community land to benefit a private organisation.

"There is the critical principle of whether an organisation which has concessionally leased a site for recreational use should be able to benefit financially from deconcessionalisation and later sale of the land," Ms Gray said.

“This issue is not unique to the Kambah region, but has caused considerable concern in other areas throughout Canberra."

The land the club is looking to rezone, having revised the original proposal due  to community concerns. Photo: Supplied

The land the club is looking to rezone, having revised the original proposal due to community concerns. Photo: Supplied

The club is a not-for-profit entity and leases the land from the ACT government at a discounted rate because it is zoned for community use.

Mr Hill said golf clubs across the country were struggling and his was just breaking even each year.

"Definitely their housing prices will not be great, but if you hand this land to the government, what do you think is going to happen?" Mr Hill said.

"We need to have some funds for the future. One thing the community doesn't want is the golf club to close down."

The club has also said it would not seek an exemption from betterment taxes, which take into account the improved value of the land when it is rezoned.

The land was no use to the golf club and could not be used as part of the course.

But Ms Gray countered, “If the [golf club] has no further use for the land it is seeking to rezone we urge the government to explore ways the land could be used for community benefit rather than alienating this community resource while providing the club with windfall profits.”

Mr Hill said club representatives were barred from speaking at a recent community meeting, which Ms Gray said was standing room only.

"We're being fully transparent with them and happy to compromise on any development whatsoever," Mr Hill said.

The initial rezoning proposal put forward by the club. Photo: Supplied

The initial rezoning proposal put forward by the club. Photo: Supplied

The land is zoned only for community use, but by changing the zoning of the land to allow residential development, the club can sell it to developers.

The club had originally proposed medium or high density multi-storey apartments but after community consultation, shaved that proposal down to allow for green space with height restrictions on the buildings.

The three sites the club is looking to rezone include a 6.5 hectare site on Learmouth Drive and Bateman Street, which the club says could accommodate 46 standalone houses of up to 650 square metres each.

The second site was a parcel of almost 1 hectare on the corner of Drysdale Circuit and Crozier Circuit, which the club said could accommodate 30 units - a mix of one and two-storey townhouses.

The third is a 3.8 hectare site along Kambah Pool Road which the club said could house up to 21 single dwelling blocks of 550-650 square metres each, and multi-unit housing with 20-23 units in a townhouse or villa arrangement.

A planning directorate spokeswoman confirmed it had received the club's application and was considering it but had not yet made a decision.