Kingston calls for community involvement on the future of golf courses
Kingston Council has called on the Victorian Government not to lock-out local Councils and communities when deciding the future of golf courses.
The Victorian Government has proposed new state-wide planning guidelines for golf course redevelopments, including local sites such as the former Kingswood Golf Course in Dingley Village.
Kingston Mayor Georgina Oxley said that if approved, the new guidelines could remove Councils from the process.
“It effectively reduces Council’s role to that of a submitter – rather than a key decision maker on behalf of the local community,” Cr Oxley said.
“Kingswood has clearly shown that the local community want to have a strong voice in the future of local golf courses, with a record 7000+ community submissions received on a proposed residential development for the site that was refused by Council.”
There are currently 11 golf courses in Kingston which, while largely privately owned, provide the local community with valuable open space, recreational areas and environmental benefits.
In 2015 Kingston Council adopted a Golf Course Policy which acknowledges the benefits that golf courses provide and sought to ensure that if a club was economically unviable that the land would be retained primarily for open space.
Council has made a submission to the Victorian Government calling for changes to the proposed new planning guidelines that will direct the future of golf courses across the state including:
- Putting more focus on encouraging and supporting existing golf clubs to remain financially viable and open
- Ensuring any redevelopment of golf courses have clear ‘net community benefit’ such as open space and environmental benefits
“Kingston Council does not believe that golf courses should be seen as an answer to accommodate population growth as it would put increasing pressing on community infrastructure, active and passive open space, affordable housing and the environment.”