Longyard golfers air concern over proposed development

BUNKER DOWN: Former Longyard golf club president Nick Broadbent has concerns about a nearby development. Photo: Peter Hardin 150518PHA029
BUNKER DOWN: Former Longyard golf club president Nick Broadbent has concerns about a nearby development. Photo: Peter Hardin 150518PHA029

MEMBERS have taken a swing the Longyard Golf club over a proposed development on nearby land which they say will change the nature of the course.

While owner John O’Rourke doubted the members’ claim and said it would be a win-win, former club president Nick Broadbent said he’d be heartbroken if the proposal goes ahead.

He said it would alter aspects of the course designed by Greg Norman and Bob Harrison in the 1980s.

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“We’ve had a long history maintaining the design features Norman and Harrison put into the course and the evolution of their design,” Mr Broadbent said.

The Longyard member said the development, which includes housing and a retirement estate, “would change the length and nature of several holes” and predicted the club would lose members.

“We’ll lose an A-grade course,” he said.

“We’re also losing a driving range.

“You’ll probably get a lot more practicing on Riverside.”

He was fearful the wider community wasn’t aware the community could lose “a well-recognised facility”.

Mr O’Rourke did confirm to The Leader the driving range would be lost but he maintained the developments would benefit the course in the long-run.

He said it would make the course an asset someone else would want own if he was no longer in the picture and he wasn’t trying to take away from the integrity of the course.

“Longyard Golf has applied for the final available residential land with golf-course frontage to be subdivided, from an area surplus to golf course needs,” Mr O’Rourke said in a statement.

“This proposal is a win-win for Longyard Golf, surrounding residents and for Tamworth.

“Allowing residents to enjoy the premium golf-course lifestyle also translates to better outcomes for the course, and ensures its long-term future success.”

Mr O’Rourke outlined the proposed subdivision was around six hectares located at the rear of the course, adjacent to the existing on-course housing, and the proposed Arcadia development.

He said it had been professionally designed to ensure no significant changes to the Bob Harrison and Greg Norman course design, or downgrading of the course.

Construction of the course began in 1984. The front nine was opened for play in March, 1988 and the back nine in December, 1995.

The development includes a “luxury over-50s’” resort on the course.

Majestic Lifestyle Resorts’ major shareholder, Bob Andersen said in a statement the development site, the current golf driving range and land adjacent to the golf course, would offer 120 independent luxury living units and community facilities including a gym, spa, pool , golf simulator, cinema and hairdresser.

“The development will be like nothing Tamworth has ever seen,” Mr Andersen said.

“It will boast a state of the art design, inspired by the local surrounds, and will lead the way in the over 50s living.

“The resort will bring a huge economic benefit to the region, will ensure the longevity of the golf course and surrounding community and provide a positive benefit to Tamworth as a whole.

The development application is scheduled to be submitted to council in the coming months.

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