In 2005, Spiire was engaged as the lead consultant to re-establish the Lonsdale Golf Club as one of the best in the region. With a dwindling membership base and lacking the funds to reinvigorate the tired course, the creative solution was to subdivide a portion of the golf club land for residential development and use the profits to construct a new course and futureproof the club for the years to come.
From the outset, the project team were challenged with significant planning constraints, environmental concerns and a rather skeptical local population concerned about the town’s character and whether the new subdivision could potentially jeopardise the sleepy village they knew and loved.
Whilst the project group juggled the local residents’ concerns, our Town Planning team prepared a combined planning scheme amendment and a planning permit application proposing that we create a new course layout with extended boundaries, of which pushed into area of environmental significance. The initial conceptual layout plan in this application wasn’t supported by the relevant authorities because of these sensitivities.
Spiire’s approach was to address the environmental concerns in such a way to arrive at an overall net benefit to all concerned. Our first task was to maximise the retention of the existing vegetation within the golf course redevelopment and proposed residential development and create a new layout acceptable to all stakeholders. Once completed, this provided the momentum to continue with the wider changes to the layout of the course and subdivision within the limited choices of available land.
By extending the course to the boundary of the Lonsdale Lakes Wildlife Reserve and areas of former shell grit extraction, a project of significant environmental restoration and enhancement was proposed.
By overcoming the Council’s objections, we were able to justify the social and recreational benefits of redeveloping the golf course as a community facility with the impacts of the new fairways on the surrounding environment.
The implementation of the residential development that ensued was to realise the aspiration of the expanded golf course. Our Civil Engineering, Water engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture teams were engaged as an integrated service offering to deliver this phase of the project.
Ongoing management of environmental impacts, both on site and in the surrounding area, were at the forefront of the design.
Our landscape architects worked closely with engineers to successfully retain and integrate existing indigenous vegetation both internal to the subdivision, in three passive open space areas, and along the development interface with existing lots and roads.
Stormwater treatment assets inclusive of a raingarden, a gross pollutant trap and a swale outfall were integrated into ultimate golf course redesign. Our water engineers also designed a 9ML storage dam that stored treated rainwater harvested from the subdivision and desalinated bore water obtained from the Maintenance Facility. The storage dam now serves as the main irrigation source for the entire course.
Major civil works included a new roundabout tying the new subdivision in with the existing Point Lonsdale township, Barwon Water infrastructure augmentation of potable watermain works and the integration of public transport routes.
Completed in 2021, the team provide ongoing engineering guidance and advisory across the entire redevelopment project including the clubhouse and maintenance facility, whilst also providing an ongoing supporting role with the club managing community engagement and resolution.
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