Golf plan to tribunal

Kim Waters
PLANS to redevelop the former Geelong Golf Club have bypassed council and gone to the state planning tribunal, a councillor has revealed.
Stretch Kontelj said site owner Links Living had lodged an appeal with Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal even though the company was “still in negotiations” with council.
“Even as we stand here the developer has lodged an appeal at VCAT,” he told Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Cr Kontelj said council now had to make the most of the “controversial” 10-year golf course redevelopment saga and “the situation we’ve got”.
“It’s at the goodwill of the developer that we’re still in negotiations.
“A consensus outcome is the best outcome.”
Links Living controversially bought the 45-hectare course around eight years ago after the golf club struck financial problems. The company won council support in 2006 for redevelopment with nine holes, 200 building blocks and 120 retirement units but later dumped the plan as unviable and locked out club members.
Links Living produced other redevelopment options and tried to sell the course with the company’s other golf estates before taking them back off the market in 2008.
The latest plans are similar to the 2006 proposal, with a nine-hole golf course and 320 residential allotments.
Councillors gave “in principle” support to Links Living’s fifth plan subject to a series of conditions including a new Section 173 Agreement ensuring the project proceed within an agreed time.
Links Living spokesperson Ron Smith told the Independent earlier this month that the company was “waiting for council approval” of the latest plan.