BY EL FITCHETT
Merewether Golf Club reached a major milestone today in it’s bid to develop an $120-million Golf Club and Seniors Living precinct, with the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel unanimously signing off on a Site Compatibility Certificate.
The approval will allow Merewether Golf Club and partner Thirdi Group to submit a Development Application to Newcastle City Council by late-May or June this year, before community consultation begins.
“We are absolutely thrilled with this outcome. We started this process close to 4 years ago and the Site Compatibility Certificate is the strongest indication yet our shared vision of a creating a world class golfing facility and seniors living precinct is now on track to become a reality,” Aaron Spalding of Merewether Golf Club’s board said.
If Newcastle Council green lights the project, Merewether Golf Club will be transformed, with a new clubhouse featuring a restaurant, sports bar, pro shop and conference center.
In addition, the project will see 148 serviced, self-care seniors living units built on the grounds within a multi-story tower development, including a wellness center, basement parking and associated facilities.
“Not only will this development help secure our clubs future, it also paves the way for significant investment to take place,” Aaron Spalding said.
The Thirdi Group estimates construction on the project will create over 1000 jobs across the Hunter Region, as well as ongoing employment for 100 once the precinct is operational.
“If we can get support from Newcastle Council and community for the project, we could potentially have construction in ground by this time next year. It’s a two year project so it would be on track for completion in mid 2023,” Director of Thirdi Group, Luke Berry said.
“In the current Covid-19 crisis, what’s been identified as our most vulnerable members of the community is the ageing population, and there’s simply not enough housing that’s designed for our seniors living,” Mr Berry said.
“This development will not only create a home for seniors, but the investments going to create new facilities that all the community can come and benefit from.”
Robert Huxley from the Thirdi Group says, “We now look forward to working with Newcastle City Council to deliver on our promise to create one of the best Golf Clubs & Seniors Living precincts ever seen in the Newcastle & Hunter Region.”
Artist’s impression of Merewether Golf Club redevelopment, courtesy of Thirdi Group