SINGLETON Golf Club officials and one of the Hunter’s biggest developers, Jeff McCloy, have done a $50million deal to subdivide 40 hectares that was part of the defunct Gowrie Links housing and golf course proposal.
The partnership intends to progressively cut the club’s land, off Maison Dieu Road, into 250 housing lots.
Club officials will use their share of profits to buy land, in or near Singleton within two years and, within five years, be well advanced with establishing an 18-hole course and clubhouse.
A residential development application is expected to be lodged with Singleton Council in six months in the hope of approval allowing the first stage, of up to 100 lots, to be offered for sale by the end of 2013.
The Argus understands that 109 hectares adjoining the club site which was also part of the Gowrie Links plan, has been sold to another housing developer.
This block, owned by the Overdean development company, has been in the hands of liquidators since late last year and was advertised nationally for sale.
A spokesman for the Newcastle real estate firm Knight Frank, Ross Cooper, declined to comment on the Overdean land other than to say certain information was confidential at this stage and a public announcement should be made mid next month.
Singleton Golf Club vice president Peter Eason said the joint venture agreement with Newcastle’s McCloy Group was the culmination of months of negotiations.
“Gowrie will evolve into a stylish and attractive living precinct and, as the blocks are sold, the golf club will be able to buy and develop another site for a course and clubhouse,” Mr Eason said.
“The club is fortunate to have engaged the McCloy Group, which is very experienced.
“McCloy representatives are very excited about the opportunity to create a living environment in what they describe as one of the best parcels of natural land they have had to work with.”
The golf club’s Gowrie land and the Overdean site gained zoning approval in April 2007 for about 600 house lots, an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and open space.
Club officials rescinded their contract with Overdean when the company got into financial difficulties and liquidators were appointed.
Although the Gowrie Links proposal fell over because of Overdean’s financial situation, one unresolved matter that remains a hurdle for any development is the Maison Dieu Road and New England Highway intersection which needs upgrading.
While acknowledging the intersection would need work, Mr Eason said preliminary talks with council and Roads and Maritime Services officials raised the prospect of first stage blocks being sold to help pay for intersection improvements. This would delay the upgrade until money was available, he said.
Work already underway for the development application included traffic studies, environmental assessment, services location and variety of preliminary designs.
Mr Eason said the development would help alleviate Singleton’s high pressure accommodation demands and may reduce traffic running through the town as more people choose to live here rather than travel down the highway.
“A recent forum on Singleton’s accommodation crisis has helped to establish some marketing guidelines for the type of housing needed in the area,” Mr Eason said.
“It is expected that a variety of options will be presented throughout the precinct which will offer approximately 250 normal size residential lots, but more dense housing is also being considered to meet the varied demand.
“The next stage for the golf club is to focus on the best option for a new 18-hole course, which will be funded by the sale of the Gowrie blocks.”
Mr Eason said flood plain land, near Singleton’s town centre, and higher land on the outskirts of town had been identified as potential new golf course sites.