Golf: Sale of club land draws submissions

Submissions on the Cromwell Golf Club's proposal to sell part of its course to the Cromwell Community Board and lease it back, have been ‘‘flowing in''.

Central Otago District Council property officer Brian Taylor said a significant number of submissions on the proposal had been received so far, and continued to flow in ahead of the new closing date of February 8. The submission period opened on December 20 last year.

Initially, the submissions were to be received by 5pm yesterday, but the council decided to extend the deadline after failing to publicly advertise the date one week ahead of time.

‘‘The advertisement did not go into the Central Otago News, which was our fault, and so we thought we better extend the deadline by nine days,'' Mr Taylor said.

He declined to say exactly how many submissions had been received to date. ‘‘I really can't talk about it until it [the submission period] has closed and the [Cromwell community] board has considered the submissions,'' he said.

Mr Taylor also cited ‘‘political issues'' within the council as the reason for not disclosing specific information about the proposal.

The Cromwell Golf Club asked the community board to purchase about 25ha of its course for $5 million, as it needed funds to upgrade its clubrooms and maintain the course at a professional level.

The land comprised nine golfing greens of the course, the whole of which was partly located on the Cromwell Town Belt which the club leased from the CODC.

Cromwell Golf Club owned the land it proposed to sell freehold after purchasing it in 1970. It was worth an estimated $14m for residential purposes.

The club hoped to lease back the land from the community board at a discretionary rate based on 3% of the sale price, which would annually amount to about $150,000, so golfing could continue. It claimed the sale and lease would protect the course from any ‘‘irresponsible'' development in the future.

Earlier this month club life member and coach of the Cromwell College Golf Academy Colin Cowie, said the club would continue to struggle if it was not able to sell and lease back the land.

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