Fears golf course is under threat as change of use gets preliminary approval

CONCERNED: Mr Berndt said it was worrying to see the change of use application approved, with the area surrounding the school zoned for residential development.
CONCERNED: Mr Berndt said it was worrying to see the change of use application approved, with the area surrounding the school zoned for residential development.

THE golf course where international pro Jason Day trained is one step closer to closing down after a change of use application was approved, a Hills Golf Academy staffer says.

The application - which was granted preliminary approval in August - would see the parts of the site currently occupied by the golf course rezoned for low-density residential development and environmental conservation.

Ken Berndt from Hills Golf Academy said if development went ahead according to the new zonings, the golf course would be forced to close down.

As it stands, the only large space zoned for recreation is in the site's flood-prone south-eastern corner.

"With the guaranteed increased ongoing maintenance costs due to the far more flood prone course the business would not be economically viable and couldn't continue to operate," Mr Berndt's submission to Logan City Council read.

Even if it was to be relocated, Mr Berndt - a former golf course architect - said the replacement cost for a golf course like that would be a minimum of $20 million.

The 18-hole course is the longest in Australia and is also home to Hills Golf Club.

A statement from Hills International College said the school and developer Urban Construct were committed to delivering golf-related activities as part of the project.

"The approval for the change of use application does not allow for any works to occur onsite and will not impact the operation of the current golf course," it said.

"We will welcome discussions with the existing operator... in relation the continuation of a golf course on the site subject to all necessary statutory consents. A program will be developed over coming months."

Council's decision notice stated that Hills International College was the owner of the site and had provided consent to the lodgement of the application.

It said the issue of the golf course related to a private commercial agreement between Hills International College and the Hills Golf Academy.

The future of the golf course was not the community's only concern with the application.

Other issues brought up in submissions included the impact of a future development on infrastructure and roads, including the Mount Lindesay Highway, and flooding impacting parts of the site.

The decision notice said the proposed development site was identified as a future urban area and would be considered as part of any community infrastructure planning for the area.

It said the developer would need to submit a new flood study to council for approval.

Mr Berndt said it would be devastating to see the academy - which was a major drawcard for the school - close down.