Royal Sydney Golf Club - course upgrade and renovation (DA402/2019)

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    Development Application (course upgrade and renovation)

    Council has received a development application (DA) for the extensive renovations to the existing 18 hole golf course at Royal Sydney Golf Club (RSGC) including site works, service upgrades, tree removal and replacement planting. This DA is limited to the existing 18-hole golf course of the RSGC. The proposal does not include the existing 9-hole golf course or any other facility, building or Clubhouse within the subject site.

    Woollahra Council is the consent authority for this application. The DA will be determined by the Woollahra Application Assessment Panel if less than 10 unique letters of objection are received, or by the Woollahra Local Planning Panel if 10 or more unique letters of objection are received.

    The Applicant’s Statement of Environmental Effects states that:

    “The proposed renovation is proposed to ensure the golf course provides a sustainable and functional environment benefitting RSGC and the broader community for many years to come. The Championship Golf Course is the epicentre of the Club. However, it has several serious problems which have contributed to the gradual decline of the golf course over the last 30 or so years, including:

    • The irrigation system on the course is reaching the end of its useful life. System failures are now a regular occurrence, with failing pipework, fittings and wiring causing reliability issues. The system is wasteful of water and does not work to its proper capacity.
    • Poor drainage is apparent across the entire course. The poorly drained golf course (e.g. as a result of underground pipes blocked by tree roots) struggles to provide optimum growing conditions for trees, shrubs and grasses. Excessively wet areas require additional maintenance inputs and create poor playing conditions.
    • Many trees planted on the course are reaching the end of their safe life expectancy and failing at an increasing rate. Some of the trees have grown into dense groves restricting airflow and creating heavy shade. This has negatively impacted growing conditions and ultimately promoted an infestation of turf weed.
    • Many greens on the course are heavily weed infested with shade from nearby overgrown trees compromising growing conditions, resulting in significant wear due to high usage. Many bunkers have one entry access point and are prone to regular collapsing due to overuse. During periods of high wind, sand is routinely lost from the bunkers due to the old style of the bunkering.
    • The golf course has a long history of vegetation clearance and subsequent plantings, resulting in an artificial and highly manicured landscape. Landscaping across the course is ad hoc, lacks clear structure, contains significant areas of high-water demanding turf, and comprises many species not typical of the local area.
    • Infrastructure elements throughout the Championship Course including cart paths, fencing, solid bins, access and service roads are aged and need to be replaced.

    Overall, the Championship Course has many pressing issues affecting sustainability, use and maintenance. As the current course approaches its end of life expectancy renovation is necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability, functionality and environmental quality of the golf course.”

    Description of the proposal

    The proposal involves:

    • alterations and works to tees, fairways, greens and bunkers;
    • upgrades of the irrigation system including construction of a new water storage dam;
    • upgrade of stormwater drainage infrastructure;
    • 703 new trees will be planted, made up of sustainable local species, consistent with the original vegetation of the area. The planting and establishment of these trees will coincide with the removal of 569 trees. With 2,597 existing trees on site, the proposal achieves an overall increase in the number of trees on the golf course to a total of 2,731 trees; and
    • upgrades to internal roads and pathways.

    The DA does not involve any major building works and does not involve any change to membership numbers or current operation of RSGC and other facilities on the site.

    Public exhibition

    The DA will be advertised and notified in accordance with Section A2 - Advertising and Notification, of Council’s Woollahra Development Control Plan 2015. The notification period is from 6 November 2019 to 5 December 2019.

    Assessment of application

    Council staff will review any submissions received and prepare an assessment report. The report will include a summary of any submissions and a recommendation to approve (with or without special conditions), or to refuse the development application.

    The assessment report will be provided to the Woollahra Application Assessment Panel if less than 10 unique letters of objection are received, or the Woollahra Local Planning Panel if 10 or more unique letters of objection are received.

    The Application Assessment Panel and the Woollahra Local Planning Panel are both public meetings, which provide an opportunity for the community and interested stakeholders to have their say before the Panel makes a decision.

    When a public meeting date is set, those parties who have made a submission will be notified of the meeting and provided with information on the meeting process. This will include information on how to register to address the panel.

    How do I view the DA plans and documents?

    The DA plans and documents can be viewed using the DA tracking tool.

    What if I have other questions?

    Please contact the Assessment Officer - Ms P Frecklington on 9391 7168 between 8:30am and 11:00am Tuesday and Wednesday.