Future of golf club unclear
RUMOURS doing the rounds in golfing circles that the Chamberlain Park Golf Club will be wrapped up and the land it occupies used for housing have been dismissed by the local board that represents the area.
But while that idea may be wide of the mark, change is in the wind for the club one way or another.
Concerns have been raised by some that the Auckland Council had its eye on using the land, which it owns, for housing.
Albert-Eden Local Board member Pauline Anderson says there is no substance to the idea of transforming the 18-hole course into housing.
If anything Mt Albert is on the hunt for more green space, not less.
‘‘The Albert-Eden area is incredibly short of open space; we’re struggling to find places.’’
The golf course land is zoned for public open space in the Unitary Plan now out for public perusal.
Mrs Anderson says she can understand how with debate raging over housing intensification in Auckland people could see the logic in such ideas.
‘‘At the end of the day it comes under local board decision making, and our green space is sacrosanct.’’
Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes says the board would vehemently oppose the loss of any green space.
‘‘We are desperate for more so the idea of using any of what we’ve got for housing would not be acceptable to the board.’’
Mr Haynes says that with only 1.6ha out of every 1000 dedicated to parks or sports fields Mt Albert has the least greenery of all Auckland’s local board areas.
But the future of the golf course is uncertain.
Long-standing manager Ian Schofield says the club’s lease is up in June for the first time in many years and so far there is no word on whether it will be renewed.
‘‘There are rumours around,’’ he says.
‘‘There’s definitely change in the wind.
‘‘Another one is the council will take the lease on and run the club itself.
‘‘From what I gather the council might take over and run it, and keep it as a public course.’’
The club employs four green keepers and four others in administration and in the pro-shop and they want to know what the future holds. ‘‘We’d definitely like to know. ‘‘I’ve been here 22 years – half my life – and I don’t want to be moving on.’’
He says there would be an outcry if a golf course was lost to housing.
Green keeper: Local Board member Pauline Anderson says Mt Albert needs all the green space it has.