Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Club Land Sale in Focus; Allegations of Secrecy over Rezoning Plans and Process

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Club Land Sale in Focus; Allegations of Secrecy over Rezoning Plans and Process

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Howard Tim.Howard@dailyexaminer.com.au

THE Grafton District Golf Club has defended itself against claims plans to sell off land for a residential sub-division have been developed in secret to benefit a group of club members.

A resident objecting to the development, Kerry Hughes, said the golf club's general manager Trevor Townsend revealed some of the club's plans when answering a question during a site visit by Clarence Valley councillors prior to the council meeting on Tuesday.

The golf club has submitted a revised planning proposal to the council to have the land which were the former 10th and 11th holes on the course, rezoned to allow smaller block sizes, down from 4000sqm to 1500sqm.

In 2011 a rezoning to allow nine 4000sqm blocks was approved, with qualified support from nearby residents.

Mrs Hughes said Mr Townsend's response to a question from Cr Peter Ellem on why the club wanted the smaller lot sizes was illuminating.

"Mr Townsend said the reason they needed smaller lots was because some older members thought they would find looking after the larger 4000sqm blocks too difficult," Mrs Hughes said.

She said this revelation made the secrecy around the club's plans make sense.

"The members have not been formally told about this sub-division," she said.

"Apparently there's a map on the golf club wall, which I have not seen, but members have not been formally written to and told the board has now decided it's a better option to go to 16 lots.

"There's all this secrecy about it and because of this secrecy, we're starting to think, hey, there's something they're hiding here."

Mrs Hughes said the original rationale for closing the 10th and 11th holes was the insurance risk of golfers hitting balls out of bounds onto Bent St onto cars and houses. …

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