BEECHWORTH Lawn Tennis Club will be vacating its home of more than 80 years after the site was sold to a company with Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie listed as one of its directors.
The company, ACE (Beechworth Pty Ltd), has submitted a planning application to Indigo Shire proposing a 13-lot residential sub-division on the land occupied by the tennis club since 1935.
The 6912 square metre block sandwiched between Tanswell Street and Albert Road is located less than 300 metres from the post office and was purchased for $809,000 last October.
Concerns about future development on the land not being in keeping with the town’s heritage characteristics have exploded on social media in recent days.
Lot sizes will range in size between 306 to 613 square metres, according to the planning application, with the sub-division to be completed in two stages starting with four lots fronting Tanswell Street.
The land is zoned general residential and has no overlays.
Club president Andy Carr said it was preparing a planning permit of its own to establish four courts at another location in Beechworth with Baarmutha Park the preferred site.
“We’ve got to tick all the boxes as we go through the planning processes,” he said.
“It has been something that has been on the cards for an extended period of time.
“It was very much a case of the courts, the clubhouse, everything, had reached a stage where it needed to be rebuilt from scratch.
“It was nothing particularly unusual, but the catalyst for really moving along was a huge rain event two winters ago in Beechworth and being a clay surface the courts became completely water-logged.”
Indigo Shire last year voted to give in-principle support to the tennis club’s relocation to Baarmutha Park.
It is expected to be the lead funding source for the creation of the courts at Baarmutha Park which would remain Crown land under management of council.
Cr Speedie, a keen tennis player and Tennis Victoria board member, Robin Speedie and Henry Dining are ACE (Beechworth Pty Ltd) directors.
Attempts to contact Cr Speedie for comment were unsuccessful.
She is on leave from Wodonga Council and Cr Kat Bennett is the acting mayor.
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