Plan to redevelop Cessnock Golf Club, draft proposal for 12-hole course and 328 homes

GREEN: A worker prepares the course when it was still operational in 2018. Picture: Simone De Peak
GREEN: A worker prepares the course when it was still operational in 2018. Picture: Simone De Peak

The defunct Cessnock Golf Club could be redeveloped into a 12-hole course and over-55s style residential complex featuring more than 300 manufactured homes.

Central Coast-based developer Stevens Group is set to unveil a draft concept plan for the potential redevelopment at a public information session on Saturday.

The company has entered into a heads of agreement with the former club's administrator to develop the site. Cessnock Golf Club went into voluntary administration in April, 2018, with more than $11 million debt.

The doors were closed a year later ahead of liquidation. The club's former president Robert Hodge said at the time the closure was "devastating" for the community.

The public-access course had been operating since 1926. It underwent a major redevelopment that included a 138-lot subdivision, 18-hole Jack Newton golf course and new clubhouse, which opened in 2012.

TROUBLED TIMES: Cessnock Golf Club in April, 2018, when the club's board appointed a voluntary administrator. Picture: Simone De Peak

TROUBLED TIMES: Cessnock Golf Club in April, 2018, when the club's board appointed a voluntary administrator. Picture: Simone De Peak

The revitalisation set to be unveiled by Stevens Group on Saturday would resurrect a public-access golf course, reduced to 12 holes, and reuse the existing clubhouse.

The draft plan shows holes part of the previous layout to the south of the clubhouse would be lost for the residential sites, while there would be six reconfigured holes to the north of the clubhouse and six on the north-eastern side of Lindsay Street.

The proposal includes 328 manufactured homes spread across the site with a network of new internal roads.

Stevens Group director Brett Harrod said there was "a lot of water to go under the bridge" but the company was planning to lodge a DA in the coming months.

"It's very much early days," he said.

"It will still have membership and public golf if our model works.

"We're looking forward to being able to continue with that social amenity for the locals who have been playing golf there for years.

"We're also looking to try and maintain a bit of .... green space around the houses that have already been built there."

EARLY DAYS: A draft concept plan to redevelop the former Cessnock Golf Club site. The Stevens Group will present the plans at a community consultation session on Saturday.

EARLY DAYS: A draft concept plan to redevelop the former Cessnock Golf Club site. The Stevens Group will present the plans at a community consultation session on Saturday.

Mr Harrod said the redevelopment would include a bowling green, revamped mini-golf area and driving range.

He said the clubhouse would be resurrected as a "food and beverage" venue without gambling facilities.

The concept plan also marks potential sites for a motel and leisure centre, but these are considered possibilities rather than probable.

Mr Harrod said the redevelopment would be completed in stages, but the first stage would be to "get the golf course up and running again, and the clubhouse".

"The village itself could take seven to 10 years to develop," he said.

The info session will be held at the clubhouse from 7am to midday on Saturday.

"This weekend's about getting community feedback to try and find out what the actual issues are, so we can respond to those issues," Mr Harrod said.

"We really want to make sure the community buys into it.

"We're never going to get 100 per cent consensus but we'd like to think we can come up with a model that satisfies the majority of people."

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Stevens Group - which also developed The Vintage at Rothbury - recently teamed up with the McCloy Group to redevelop the former Hydro aluminium smelter site at Kurri Kurri, with 2000 homes, an industrial estate and a business park among their plans.

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