A PROPOSAL for the former Kingswood Dingley Village golf site will be considered by the state government’s golf course redevelopment standing advisory committee.
The planning minister has referred the new proposed planning scheme amendment and planning permit application to the committee for consideration.
The Dingley Village golf course was purchased by AustralianSuper in 2014 for $125 million. Its plans to build nearly 800 residential dwellings on the land were rejected by Kingston Council in 2018. The release of new state government guidelines for golf course conversions in 2020 also made the owners reevaluate future plans (“Golf course owners consider way forward”, The News, 8/6/20).
Kingston mayor Steve Staikos said the decision to refer the owner’s proposal to the committee meant that council would not have final say about the future of the site.
“The community can be assured that council will be making a very comprehensive submission to the standing advisory committee on behalf of our community, but it is really important that the community also adds its voice and lets the committee know how it feels about the proposed rezoning and development application for the site,” Cr Staikos said.
Cr George Hua said “we know the Dingley and broader community is very passionate about what happens to the former Kingswood Golf Course site. Council refused the most recent development application for the site after we received a record 8000 community submissions rejecting the proposal. It is critical that the state government’s golf course redevelopment standing advisory committee hears from the community through the process to understand their views on the new proposal.”
A statement on the website for the Dingley Village project read “on 9 May, the planning minister, Hon. Richard Wynne, determined that AustralianSuper’s new proposal for the former golf course site would be considered under the planning guidelines for the conversion of golf course land to other purposes in Victoria. The proposal was informed by the extensive community and stakeholder engagement feedback gained over many years and aims to balance the needs of the many stakeholders (including the local community, government and statutory authorities).”
Planning Panels Victoria must publicly exhibit the proposal for a minimum of 30 days, followed by a public hearing. A final report will then be submitted to the planning minister.
AustralianSuper submitted its new draft proposal in November 2020.
In September 2018, Kingston Council voted to abandon the planning scheme amendment to rezone Peninsula Kingswood golf course. The plan was to subdivide the land and build a little under 800 residential dwellings (“Council tees off on golf course plans”, The News, 24/10/18).
In 2020 the state government released new guidelines for golf course conversions. Among the new guidelines was that “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.”
A statement from Save Kingswood Group Inc read “the developers should never have purchased land zoned special use golf course, before consulting residents and the Kingston Council. Councils around Melbourne have been advocating the preservation and expansion of urban forests and trees, to provide oxygen, reduce pollution, for environmental cooling, offer recreational areas and to stop the destruction of native flora and fauna habitat.”
“Dingley Village is unique in Victoria. Residents moved here to enjoy the green leafy low-rise Village atmosphere. There is vastly insufficient infrastructure and facilities to withstand a twenty percent increase in population,” the group’s president Kevin Poulter said.
Council commissioned a report last year that found that it would cost nearly $450,000 to move the site outside the urban growth boundary (“Golf course rezoning could be costly”, The News, 9/12/20)