Teeing off Millbrook’s next course

Millbrook property & development director Ben O’Malley is delighted work’s underway on the former Dalgleish Farm. Photo: Philip Chandler
Millbrook property & development director Ben O’Malley is delighted work’s underway on the former Dalgleish Farm. Photo: Philip Chandler

Work has begun on a new nine hole golf course at Millbrook in Arrowtown, 25 years after it opened, as part of a newly­ consented, $50 million development.

The course will be in the 67-hectare former Dalgleish Farm, which Millbrook bought four years ago.

Alongside the new holes, Millbrook is also setting aside 42 house lots — 24 on the upper plateau and 18 lower down — ranging from about 750 to 3000 square metres.

Development manager Ben O’Malley says they are mostly likely to sell for $1m-plus, and doubtless end up accommodating more multi-million dollar homes.

Rather than creating denser development, Millbrook’s retaining its 450-home limit but now spreading it out more, he explains.

The resort’s let three contracts at this stage — the main earthworks contract to Ashburton’s Grant Hood Contracting and golf course construction and irrigation installation contracts to turf specialist TIC Golf Projects.

That firm also developed the Coronet Nine course which opened in 2010.

Earthmoving trucks work on a 30 million-litre water storage Earthmoving trucks work on a 30 million-litre water storage lake. Photo: Philip Chandler
Earthmoving trucks work on a 30 million-litre water storage lake. Photo: Philip Chandler

Similarly Coronet Nine’s designers, ex-golf pro, Arrowtowner Greg Turner, and his Scotland-based associate, Scott Macpherson, were retained to design the ‘Dalgleish Nine’, or whatever it’s finally called.

Some major water works are also in the pipeline.

Work is almost finished on moving the Arrow irrigation pipe to make way for the development and work has started on a 30 million-litre water storage lake.

Mr O’Malley explains this has come about because Otago Regional Council is going through a plan change which would set a minimum flow for the Arrow River.

And that river supplies Millbrook’s golf irrigation water, via the Arrow pipeline.

A minimum flow could jeopardise golf course operations, as its sand-based tees and greens require daily watering to meet international PGA specs, O’Malley says.

In other water works, parts of Mill Creek will be widened to enhance wetlands for birdlife and wildlife.

The creek was also widened through the Coronet Nine course when it was being constructed.

Millbrook’s also supporting an Otago Regional Council initiative, alongside the Friends of Lake Hayes Society, to discharge off-peak water from the Arrow River irrigation race to Mill Stream, which runs through Millbrook into Lake Hayes.

‘‘They believe this will help enhance the water quality of Lake Hayes, and we havethe means to provide them the link,’’ Mr O’Malley says.

They’ll range between wetland­ surrounded lowlands through ice­-sculpted valleys and gullies to a plateau about 485 metres above sea level.

Mr O’Malley, who is ‘‘ecstatic’’ work is underway, says the Dalgleish Farm purchase was timely as it was the last decent ­sized contiguous land it could acquire.

- by Philip Chandler

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