28 Sep 2018

Proponents of an 18-hole golf course at Culburra Beach in the Shoalhaven Shire of New South Wales are said to be considering an appeal, after the state’s Independent Planning Commission ruled against a proposed golf course on the property.

The Halloran Trust had submitted DA plans for a 6,400m James Wilcher-designed ‘championship’ golf course, which was to be situated in close proximity to a 100-hectare residential development they have near the Crookhaven River. The West Culburra Expansion project includes more than 500 residential lots and is being assessed separately to the golf course project.

According to the project’s consultants, the 18-hole Culburra Beach Championship Golf Course had been designed to ‘provide residents and visitors of the Culburra Beach area with a first-class golfing option on the land between Curleys Bay and Lake Wollumboola.’

The first development application for the golf course was lodged with Shoalhaven City Council back in 2011, but rejected because of potential impacts on a nearby Lake. The revised plan was referred to the state Independent Planning Commission because of strong community opposition.

According to the South Coast Register website:

The IPC hosted a public meeting in July, to listen to the community’s views on the development. Residents who spoke in favour of the project cited economic and social benefits, including job creation, while those against the development raised concerns about potential impacts on Lake Wollumboola, biodiversity impacts associated with the clearing of native vegetation, and impacts on bird species that use the lake as a breeding and nesting ground.

In its Statement of Reasons for Decision, the IPC found the site was unsuitable for the project because of the sensitivity of Lake Wollumboola and its catchment, and the potential for adverse impacts on the highly sensitive ecosystem. The IPC also stated there was a lack of critical groundwater data to enable an appropriate assessment of the potential impacts of the project. 

While the project was attractive to residents due to an increase in tourism and jobs, the IPC found there was no clear certainty about the social and economic benefits of the project.

Matt Philpot of Allen Price and Scarratts on behalf of the Halloran Trust, said the decision was very disappointing and added the Halloran Trust was “considering it’s options” and may appeal the decision.

Lake Wollumboola Protection Association president Frances Bray said she was “overjoyed” with the decision. 

 

Read more about the project and the IPC decision on the South Coast Register website

 

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