Golf course uproar
PLANS to develop a 23-block subdivision on the Grafton District Golf Club has divided its members and met with strong opposition by neighbours.
In many cases, the residents who have raised questions about the development also have the interests of the club in mind, being paid members who use its facilities.
Ken Dewar, a Bent Street homeowner and former club director, is one of those people.
In his opinion, the club's request to the Clarence Valley Council to re-zone the proposed blocks as smaller suburban town-sized lots was ill-conceived.
With homes along Bent Street currently classified as larger rural blocks, he believed the smaller lots characterising the proposed subdivision would drastically change the area.
But Mr Dewar was under no illusion as to the motivation behind the classification request.
He believed the club's poor financial showing in recent years, common knowledge amongst its members, had compelled it to opt for smaller lots in a bid to raise more money from the land sales and fund other projects.
He acknowledged the club's long-term future and its need for a reliable water source as paramount but believed information presented to members by the board had highlighted the inadequacy of the club's plan in rush to have it approved.
He said members attending a general meeting in November 2003 were told that the cost to build an effluent pipeline from Clarenza was estimated to be $300,000.
Mr Dewar said he personally knew the cost to carry out the work, taken from a quote last year, to be between $1.2 and $1.4 million.
Julie White, is another Bent Street resident.
Her husband and two children are members and regular users of the course.
She said the club's argument that selling land on holes near the roadside would help to reduce the risk of potential litigation was ridiculous in the face of its plan to develop homes in exactly the same spot.