WANGARATTA Golf Club’s financial saviour — a 50-lot residential sub-division — has suffered a major setback with a back-flip by council administrators on the proposal.
The club crunched a deal with Yarrawonga developers to carve out the house blocks on two holes of the current course layout.
In May the elected Wangaratta Council supported a rezoning process and Planning Minister Matthew Guy authorised the council to prepare a planning amendment and permit in August.
But based on subsequent objections to high density living within the golf course, the administrators have decided the proposal would be out of step with the existing and preferred neighbour character of larger lots ranging from 2000 to 8000 square metres.
The project has reached a stalemate as developers believe minimum 2000 square metre lots would make the project unviable.
Administrators elected not to take up the option of the minister appointing a panel to end the impasse.
Club president Dean Campagna attended the special council meeting this week and conceded the decision was a setback.
“We are pretty disappointed, but we don’t think it is the end,” he said.
“It has come completely out of the blue.
“We’ve been supported by the council and the minister supported the re-zoning.
“It is a growth corridor of Wangaratta.
“As the crow flies you’ve got high density estates 400 metres away either way.”
When the draft amendment went on public display, 13 letters of support out-weighed 10 objections.
Mr Campagna said the club and developers had worked two years on the project and anticipated another 18 months would be needed to resolve the stalemate.
“We were looking at this to set the club up for the next 20 years,” he said.
“The club hit hard financial times after the 10-year drought.
“We already have a deal in place with a local building company and were going to use locals to build our new clubhouse — a restaurant will employ 12 to 20 people, our pro-shop four or five people and our greens staff would have increased.
“Our course is way too big and in amongst the 18 holes there is plenty of land.”