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Departmental Media Release

Proposed golf course to be decided by Independent Planning Commission

  • Date: 13.07.2018
  • Type: Departmental Media Release
  • Author: NSW Department of Planning and Environment

A development application to build an 18-hole championship golf course at Long Bow Point has been recommended for refusal by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The $9 million State Significant Development proposal spanning 35 hectares near Culburra Beach will now be determined by the Independent Planning Commission (IPC).

The Department is assessing the golf course application separately to a concept proposal submitted by The Halloran Trust for 650 homes to be constructed west of Culburra Beach. This concept plan was last week recommended for refusal by the Department to the IPC.

The Department’s Executive Director for Key Sites and Industry Assessments, Anthea Sargeant, said all relevant strategic studies, plans and submissions were reviewed prior to a recommendation being made.

“After careful consideration the Department concluded that the golf course proposal was not consistent with strategic objectives to protect Lake Wollumboola from further urban development,” Ms Sargeant said.

“Independent Government inquiries have identified the lake to be of state significance and concluded the lake catchment should be protected from future development.

“The Department therefore has ongoing concerns about the current proposal’s negative effects on surface and groundwater quality and impacts to local flora and fauna.”

During the assessment period the Department consulted with the Office of Environment and Heritage who advised development near Lake Wollumboola could have irreversible impacts on the lake’s ecology and negative impacts to the adjoining Jervis Bay National Park.

Three rounds of public consultation were undertaken by Shoalhaven City Council prior to the proposal being declared a State Significant Development in 2017.

Up to 517 submissions were received during three rounds of public consultation. Feedback was split with sections of the community supporting the proposal, arguing the golf course would bring economic and social benefits, while others questioned the environmental impacts and viability of a golf course at Long Bow Point.

The applicant revised the golf course’s Integrated Water Management Plan and prepared a Species Impact Statement, but the Department concluded the information supplied was unable to scientifically prove the proposed stormwater management system would achieve a neutral or beneficial effect on the lake’s water quality. 

Ms Sargeant said the Planning Proposal remained the most appropriate mechanism for determining suitable locations for recreational development and environmental conservation across the applicant’s landholdings. 

“Discussions with Council indicate the Planning Proposal will take three to four years to finalise," she said.

“The Planning Proposal will be supported by detailed studies, including a two-year groundwater monitoring study that will assist in defining appropriate development boundaries around Lake Wollumboola.” 

The Gateway Determination recommended the Planning Proposal investigate alternative locations for a golf course outside the lake catchment zone. The Planning Proposal process will allow the strategic objectives of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan to be achieved across the Halloran landholdings.

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