Geelong council removes covenant on bowls club land, paving way for possible development

Geelong council removes covenant on bowls club land, paving way for possible development
Geelong council removes covenant on bowls club land, paving way for possible development

Last night, the City of Greater Geelong voted to remove a covenant on a contentious block of land.

The Geelong West Bowling Club had been looking to remove a covenant over an area of land that previously was to be used solely for the purpose of bowls.

In 1986, 1,728 square metres of land at 12 Bowlers Avenue, Geelong West had been sold to the Geelong West Bowls Club for $48,000 and had applied the covenant at that time restricting its use as a bowling green. The amount they paid was agreed upon by Council to be at or close to market value and had previously been used as a table tennis site.

The initial valuation and associated documents were unable to be found, so the council struggled to ascertain whether they had purchased it for a discount. However, they did note that due to a later valuation they believed they paid close to full market value.

The Club looks to move their site and want to maximise the revenue from the sale of the land for this purpose. The value would be greatly enhanced without the covenant, which restricted it to a bowling green and occasional car parking.

The council approved the removal of the covenant (M262445Q).

Attending the council meeting, the Geelong Advertiser tweeted the following:

Geelong council removes covenant on bowls club land, paving way for possible development

Council records note that the Club and the Drumcondra Bowling Club have entered into an agreement with Links Investco No 1 Pty Ltd to acquire land and build new clubrooms and greens at the former Geelong Golf Club site. The sale of the existing land is to support the move and club’s consolidation at the new location on Ballarat Road.

“In deciding to agree to the removal of the covenant, the Council is entitled to consider whether at the time of sale of the land to the Club, the covenant had a restrictive effect on the price at which the land transferred,” council meeting minutes note.

The land is currently zoned Residential 1, and is proposed to be included in a Residential Growth Zone 2 under a Greater Geelong Planning Scheme amendment.

“Once the covenant is removed the owner of the land is free to use and develop the land subject to the provisions of the Planning Scheme and subsequent planning permit,” the minutes confirm.

Geelong council removes covenant on bowls club land, paving way for possible development

Source: City of Greater Geelong

The entire site is currently being marketed through Gartland Real Estate, who are calling it a unique development/subdivisional opportunity.

“The former Geelong West Bowls Club is located only 85 metres to Pakington Street and adjoining the Geelong West public park this is a one of a kind development opportunity,” the listing reads.

“Set within moments to the vibrant Cafe and restaurant precinct, offering direct access to major arterials and public transport, this location offers a multitude of opportunities to the buyer. Surrounded by residential homes in one of Geelong strongest neighbourhoods this is the perfect mix of location and opportunity.”

It is open for expressions of interest.

The Geelong Advertiser had previously indicated that locals fear the site would become a high-density housing block if this took place and noted that Gartland had estimated a sale price of up to $10 million for the combined Geelong West and Drummondra clubs’ locations.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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