Golf course owners consider way forward

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Picture: Gary Sissons

THE owners of the Dingley Village Kingswood golf course site are considering their future plans after the state government released new guidelines for golf course conversions.

The site was purchased by AustralianSuper in 2014 for $125 million. Plans to subdivide the land and build nearly 800 residential dwellings hit a major hurdle in late 2018 when Kingston Council voted to abandon the planning scheme amendment for rezoning (“Council tees off on golf course plans”, The News, 24/10/18). 

In June, the state government published their revised guidelines for the conversion of golf course land for other purposes. Those guidelines were shaped by the establishment of a “Golf Course Redevelopment Standing Advisory Committee” in August 2019.

After the release of the new guidelines, AustralianSuper put out a media release which read that the company “welcomed the release of the state government’s planning guidelines for the conversion of golf course land to other purposes in Victoria.”

“These guidelines will help determine the future of the former Kingswood golf course in Centre Dandenong Road, Dingley Village, which is owned by AustralianSuper,” the statement read. “AustralianSuper will consider the new planning guidelines as it determines the most appropriate way to proceed with plans for the site.”

The document released by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning read that the final outcome of a golf course conversion should include the following:

  • At least 20 per cent of the land area to be developed is set aside as publicly accessible useable open space that contributes to an integrated open space network. This land may be encumbered by easements, reservations, heritage, vegetation or other conditions and make provision for land to be used for passive or active recreation.
  • Enhance and protect state, regional and locally significant environmental assets and biodiversity corridors.
  • Landscaping that delivers an appropriate amount of tree canopy cover (excluding active sporting areas) to mitigate urban heat effects and is at least equivalent to, or greater than the surrounding area.
  • Active transport links are provided into the surrounding area and must be provided on the golf course land proposed for redevelopment.

The land is currently not in use as a golf course. In late 2019 Kingston Council ordered an inspection of the site to make sure the owners were complying with permits for tree and vegetation removal (“Golf course vegetation removal inspected”, The News, 16/10/19).

More information on the golf course redevelopment guidelines can be read at planning.vic.gov.au/policy-and-strategy/guidelines-for-golf-course-redevelopment

More information about the Dingley Village site can be found at dingleyvillage3172.com.au

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 8 June 2020

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