Federal Golf Club in Canberra has lodged three development applications (DAs), including one that details the club’s plans to build a retirement village on six-hectare at the southern end of the Red Hill course.

Under the proposal, the over 55’s village will feature 125 residences made up of mostly free-standing three-bedroom houses, as well as a number of two-bedroom, three-storey low-rise apartments. There’ll also be a residents’ health and wellbeing centre with a lounge, events space, kitchen, toilets, games room, meeting room, cinema, open plan office, swimming pool, yoga room, gym, and hot tub.

A new or extensively refurbished clubhouse has also been included as part of the proposal.

According to the club, the proposal to build a retirement village is necessary to help fund the club’s infrastructure renewal program that is estimated to cost between $6 million and $10 million.

“The only means of raising the $6 million to $10 million needed for the club to continue to operate sustainably is for the over 55s village to be developed,” the golf club shared in an FAQ document about the DAs.

The infrastructure renewal program, according to the club, will involve “urgent attention” to the water management system at the club. The club currently relies on a 40-year-old irrigation system that it describes as inefficient as it continuously breaks down.

“Over many years this water vulnerability has created major financial issues for the club,” the club stated.

“Over the past 15 years it has accumulated net losses of over $1.7 million. It has no reserves, is over $2.2 million in debt, and has no capacity to replace ageing assets including the failing 40-year-old irrigation system and clubhouse infrastructure.”

The club emphasised the development of the retirement village is “critical to the club’s survival”, estimating that based on the 125 residences it would earn $18.75 million.

The two other DAs lodged were to subdivide the block to make room for the future retirement village, and for upgrading the golf course, which will be carried out concurrently.

The lodgment of the DAs comes nearly nine years since the Federal Golf Club’s board first signed an agreement with development firm Mbank to build the retirement village.

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