by Chris Tobin
Options of what to do with 16ha of spare land at the Timaru’s Highfield Golf Course will be considered at a drop-in session tomorrow (Friday).
In June the Highfield Golf Club course reverted to nine holes leaving available land which included a hillside and hilltop with spectacular views. The club, as part of the Timaru Town Country Club, leased the land from the Timaru District Council.
The hilltop section which covered the former Seaview, Shorty and Ridge holes provided a possibility for housing development.
During a bus tour of the city by Timaru District Council staff and councillors at the beginning of November last year, the council’s infrastructure group manager Ashley Harper said one option was for some housing.
“There are fantastic views up there.”
The area of land available extended from housing bordering the course at Lindsay St, past housing on Braemar Pl, below the former St Vianney’s Home of Compassion property now owned by businessman Gary Rooney, through to Orbell St.
The council has encouraged the public to drop in and share their thoughts on what they would like to have developed on the land.
Highfield Golf Club president Bruce Palmer said the new nine-hole course format was working well and people were enjoying not having to tackle the hills.
Members had not formally discussed what they would like to see developed on the land.
“You hear different stories,” he said.
As to possible housing on the former Seaview and Ridge holes he commented they were good sites but whether houses on Braemar Pl bordering the course wanted housing “over the front of their lawn” was another matter.
The council’s parks and recreation manager Bill Steans and representatives from landscape architects Boffa Miskell Ltd were to be available at the drop-in.
“This is the biggest park redevelopment project that we have undertaken in some time and it would be great to get the community really engaged in the process,” Mr Steans said in a media release.
The public consultation would include an online survey to be used in a final redevelopment report which would be considered by the council.
Mr Steans has said there were opportunities for walkways, tree plantings and stormwater works as well as upgrades for a Roundtable confidence course off Orbell St and playground off Lindsay St, or possible relocation of the playground.
A Timaru businessman Roger Patterson has suggested the available land be used to establish a predator-free native tree and bird sanctuary.
The golf course lease between the council and Timaru Timaru Town and Country which merged with the Highfield Golf Club in 2012 , was due to expire on June 30.
A “golfing hub” for the region based at the course has been under consideration by a steering group.
The drop-in meeting will be held at the Timaru Town and Country Club between 4pm and 7pm tomorrow.
The Highfield course opened in March 1905 as a nine-hole links before expanding to 18 holes.