North Lakes Development Proposal Withdrawn Amidst Strong Community Opposition

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plan for a retirement village and aged care facility on the former North Lakes golf course land has been abruptly withdrawn.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.

North Lakes
Photo Credit: SNLGC/Facebook

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“Council have just informed us that the Developer has just withdrawn their DA so it will not be decided.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. 

Published 27-Nov-2023

DA Objection List Now Up to Save North Lakes Golf Course

Residents continue to oppose a retirement village proposed for North Lakes Golf Course, this time thru a DA Objection List.

The online form was initiated by Save North Lakes Golf Course (SNLGC), a group of locals opposing the closure. As part of the DA Objection process, they need to identify as many people as possible who are potentially willing to submit an objection to the Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) against the proposed redevelopment.  

The group believes North Lakes Golf Course is far more than just a golf course. It also serves as the focal point of a thriving community that boasts a population of over 25,000 residents.

“It provides an essential environmental buffer zone through the central corridor of our community. It has also become home to a variety of wildlife including Koalas and Kangaroos and is a vital channel for flood waters to escape,” the organisation wrote in their page.

SNLGC believes there are far more viable uses to the golf course instead of selling it to developers, like maintaining it for present and future generations. 

About the Golf Course

Located 25 kilometres north of Brisbane, the golf course opened for play in November 2002 as the centrepiece of a fully planned community.

Graham Marsh, one of the leading Australian professional golfers of his generation, created its par-72 layout. He kept Lake Eden, the natural waterways on the site and enhanced it to become a feature of the course.

Plans for North Lakes Golf Course

In 2018, the Club’s management discussed selling 11ha of its land to The Village Retirement Group to build a 200-unit low-rise retirement village and a three-storey aged care facility following its closure because of financial losses.

The remaining 57ha of land would be kept for open space, environmental protection and possible sports and recreation facilities for the community, something that proponents of the plan and those supporting it have also pointed out.

If you are against this development, you can fill up the online form here  to register your interest regarding lodgement of DA Objections to rezoning and redevelopment of the golf course. 

Aside from signing the objection form, the group has urged residents to join their Facebook page, as well as share and like their FB posts to create awareness.

Proposed North Lakes Resort Golf Club Sale Opposed by Locals

North Lakes residents are against the planned sale and development of the North Lakes Resort Golf Club following the announcement of the closure of the golf course.

North Lakes Resort Golf Club announced its plans of selling the course to The Village Retirement Group due to financial losses.

According to the closure statement released by the golf club, it will cease operations at the end of 2019. However, the golf course, practice facilities, restaurant, and function space will continue to operate until then.

Owners of the gold club are proposing to sell the entire course and have already entered into an arrangement with The Village Retirement Group (VRG) .

The gold club claims that it can no longer continue operating due to a downturn in golf participation in the recent years.

North Lakes Resort Golf Club
Photo credit:

Plans for the North Lakes Resort Golf Club

VRG plans to dedicate 85% or 57 hectares of the land to open space, environmental protection, and possible future sport and recreation use. The remaining land area will see 200 low-rise independent living units and a three-storey 100-bed aged-care facility on the site.

North Lakes Resort Golf Club
Photo credit:

No development application has been submitted to the Council yet. The development’s indicative timeline shows that the developer will consider community feedback and lodge the development application in the last quarter of 2018.

Strong Opposition from the Community

Plans for the change in use of the golf course was immediately opposed by locals.

Residents have been working together to protest the planned development. A dedicated Facebook group named Save North Lakes Golf Course has been established to oppose the closure of the golf course. The group currently have more than 3,500 members who are fighting the proposed development.

North Lakes Resort Golf Club

The local community is particularly concerned about the implications of the development on the environment.

“North Lakes Golf Course is far more than just a golf course. It provides an essential environmental buffer zone through the central corridor of our community. It has also become home to a variety of wildlife including Koalas and Kangaroos and is a vital channel for flood waters to escape.”

Whilst VRG only plans to build on 15% of the land, Save North Lakes Golf Course says, “15% is still a very large development in the heart of a quiet residential area. It’s the foot-print size of Westfield North Lakes. VRG may not stop at 15%. If the land is rezoned and the DA is approved, they will own all the land; and because it will all be rezoned, they could easily then develop on as much of the land as they want.”

Supporters of the Initiative

The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of Australia supports the community’s efforts in saving the golf course.

In a letter sent by Gavin Kirkman CEO of PGA of Australia to the group, he said, “the PGA of Australia certainly feels there is a place for the course to remain a pillar in the community …”

“Our PGA Professionals are more than qualified to manage facilities, as well as coach and service the game to ensure the North Lakes Golf Course can remain sustainable well into the future.”

North Lakes Resort Golf Club

Petitions Against the Development

In July 2018, a North Lakes resident started a petition online against the said plan. Currently, the petition has already gathered 3,265 signatures and aims to reach at least 10,000 signatures.

Another petition has been submitted to the State Government. The online petition was sponsored by Labor MP for Bancroft Chris Whiting.

The latter petition states that residents do not support any change in use of the North Lakes Golf Course. It has already gathered  2,736 signatures and will be closing on 1 February 2019.

Next Steps for the Community

The local community has been very vocal in their stance against the development. In fact, several residents and even businesses have been putting up signs outside their homes to show their support on the Save North Lakes Golf Course initiative.

North Lakes Resort Golf Club

Members of the group have been rallying Council members to support their cause. However, due to the legal obligations set by the State Government Legislation, Council and Councillors cannot provide any comment on their stance on the issue as Council has not received an application for the development of the North Lakes Golf Course.

Photo credit: Sandra Nicholls – SAVE NORTH LAKES GOLF COURSE / Facebook

On the other hand, Matt Constance, Councillor – Division 10 Moreton Bay Regional Council have shared helpful information on what the community can do if a development application is lodged.

In a letter sent to Sandra Nicholls from the Save North Lakes Golf Course group, Mr Constance said, “Should the proposer of this application decided to proceed it is possible that it will likely require Public Notification.”

“Public notification is required for certain development applications to ensure that the public is aware of the development and they have the opportunity to make submissions about it. A properly made submission will secure for the submitter the right to appeal to the Planning and Environment Court about the assessment manager’s decision.”

According to Mr Constance, the submitter must consider the following in making a properly made submission:

  • Beware of emotion
  • Stick to the facts
  • Be clear in your arguments
  • Where possible provide evidence
  • Understand what can be considered
  • Use your guide download it online

Take note that it is important for submissions to include and address planning issues in the context of the Planning Act and Local Planning Scheme.

For more information and updates, visit Save North Lakes Golf Course on Facebook.