Response from Chatswood Golf Club to the West Ward News article, Spring 2013
Chatswood Golf Club currently leases land adjoining the Lane Cove River on which is situated three golf holes – 6th, 7th and 8th – which complement the remaining 15 golf holes on Club-owned land. This leased land has been used for golf for more than 60 years.
The Spring 2013 West Ward News carried a comment that ‘possibly 2 or 3 sporting fields’ could be built on this leased land rather than granting a lease extension to the Club to continue using this area for passive golf and recreational walking.
In response to that article the Club makes the following comments.
- Throughout previous lease terms the Club has co-operatively consulted with Willoughby City Council to professionally maintain the pristine nature of this river land area. Such liaison has supported public access along the leased area and created marked public walking tracks for the Great North Walk, the ‘Rail to River’ (Editor: Council documents do not support this claim) walking trail plus access to the O H Reid Memorial Oval. The Club has supported environmental mangrove protection along the Lane Cove River and the Swaines Creek tributary.
- The three golf holes on leased land constitute a significant component of the Club’s 18-hole golf course which is extensively used by public players, local sports/social clubs and members. Considering the already tight course configuration incorporating three new holes within Club-owned land would involve massive costs for course re-design and layout modifications creating an inevitable loss of player patronage. Such disruption would drastically impact on the Club’s long term financial viability.
- The grassed fairway comprising the 8th hole is flood prone. Past instances are known when 100cm-plus depth of brackish flood water has inundated the entire fairway leaving up to 20cm of mud and detritus. While this silt overlay ultimately improved the fairway’s grass quality any future flooding would dramatically impact on alternate sports activities. To avoid future flooding the entire leased area would need to be raised by at least 1.5 – 2.0 m to avoid flood damage should more capital intensive sports use be considered such as basketball, netball, etc.
- The narrowness of the current fairway could barely accommodate any longitudinal sports field unless considerable earth and rock removal was undertaken below Reid Drive. The entire 8th fairway is already subject to a 100 ft preservation strip from the River to avoid encroaching on or damaging the estuarine environment. Such environment preservation is easily accommodated by the grassed fairway.
- More extensive sports field use would require additional parking for players, spectators, service and emergency vehicles, etc. Parking provisions on the leased land would be expensive to install considering the site fall off the adjacent Reid Drive onto the leased land and/or the distance from nearby Millwood Avenue or Fullers Road should any new road access be considered. Expanding hard-stand parking surfaces increases the potential for oil, grease and waste run-off noting the river’s minimal tidal flow. Reid Drive is closed at both extremities meaning additional traffic flow through residential areas would automatically result. Increased kerbside parking in Reid Drive or adjoining streets could not be contemplated.
- Golf and walking provide passive recreational use with insignificant environmental impact to the adjacent LaneCoveRiver and no detrimental consequences to residents or community members. The financial cost, development disruption, traffic and noise implications, environmental considerations and loss of this passive recreational space for golf and public walking cannot justify changing the community’s use of this native bushland and grassed golf course environment
The Club’s submission to the Willoughby City Council regarding the lease extension can be read on the website
For additional information contact Mr Alan Hall-Watson, President, telephone through the Club’s office 9419 2336 or email email@example.com.