The controversial plan for a retirement village and aged care facility on the former North Lakes golf course land has been abruptly withdrawn.
This decision marks a significant chapter in the ongoing saga between The Village Retirement Group (TVRG), its subsidiary JH Northlakes Pty Ltd, and the Moreton Bay City Council, fueled by staunch community resistance.
The Proposed Development
TVRG aimed to transform the 67-hectare site into a mixed-use development, featuring up to 250 retirement homes and a 120-bed residential care home. The proposal (DA/2022/3732) included converting 46 hectares into public open space, with TVRG retaining a smaller portion for future plans.
Despite arguments that the project aligned with council planning and addressed senior housing needs, public reaction was overwhelmingly negative. The plan faced vehement opposition from local residents, notably led by the Save North Lakes Golf Course (SNLGC) group.
A record-breaking public consultation saw over 4,000 submissions, with a vast majority against the development. Concerns were raised about the project’s contradiction to existing planning rules and the potential impact on local amenities and the environment.
Council officers, echoing these concerns, recommended refusing the application. They found the proposal in direct conflict with the Development Control Plan (DCP), lacking sufficient planning grounds to override these conflicts.
The Eleventh-Hour Withdrawal
As the Moreton Bay City Council prepared to vote on the matter, TVRG unexpectedly pulled the proposal.
“Council have just informed us that the Developer has just withdrawn their DA so it will not be decided. Therefore no vote tomorrow!!!!” the SNLGC group posted on their Facebook page.
Future of the Site
Whilst the withdrawal has been a victory for the opposition, the future of the site remains uncertain. TVRG’s managing director Justin Harrison, whilst not commenting on the withdrawal reasons, hinted that they are leaving the door open for potential future developments. The community remains vigilant.
“It is disappointing, but we still hold the position that there is no better pathway that they can take if legislation changes, so let’s get a golf course back,” A spokesperson for SNLGC commented.