How did this project come about?
The initial concept to create a retirement village originated with the directors of Chatswood Golf Club about five years ago. Along with many smaller, suburban golf clubs, Chatswood faced issues associated with declining golf patronage, an ageing player demographic and general limits on time and availability from new or existing young adult golfers. Directors agreed a new, diversified business model was required to generate additional revenue opportunities from a wider, community-orientated club development that could also include competitive and recreational golf on an improved course. The partnership will provide outstanding resident, member and community services for future generations
What type of accommodation is planned?

The proposed Chatswood Golf & Leisure Resort will feature luxury two- and three-bedroom apartments, all with views across the golf course. There will be secure, covered parking and resident lift access to all areas. Pathways through landscaped garden features will provide pedestrian access to all areas of the village, the adjoining clubhouse and adjacent residential areas. It will provide Over-55, Seniors Living managed by Watermark Retirement Living.

How was the partnership formed?

After interviewing a number of prospective partners, Chatswood Golf Club selected Watermark Retirement Living because of its alignment with the Club’s interests and understanding of the community’s needs. Watermark will partner with ASX-listed Folkestone Ltd (FLK) for the project development. The Club entered a partnership agreement to develop the proposed Chatswood Golf & Leisure Resort – integrating a retirement village complex with golfing facilities – which will be upgraded to include a leisure and wellness centre. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reinvent the Club’s business model and activities. The space will encourage families to come together for entertainment, exercise and shared experiences.

How does the partnership work?

We believe this is the first project of its kind where the partnership is based on interdependency. Each organisation is committed to the long-term success for the project, which will expand residential enjoyment and community involvement while maintaining amenities for members and guests.

What is the timeframe for this proposed development?

The proposed retirement village and clubhouse project, for the West Ward precinct within Willoughby City Council, requires endorsement from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE). A Site Compatibility Certificate (SCC) is required before development can begin. The partnership is applying to the NSW DPE for an SCC. If approval is granted, Watermark Retirement Living will submit a Development Application, which would need to be determined by the Joint Regional Planning Panel of the NSW Government. This evaluation process is expected to take 12-18 months.

What is the Master Plan?

The Development Application will comprise a master plan incorporating four components:

  • New clubhouse facilities and car parking
  • An upgrade of the existing golf course
  • A temporary clubhouse for use while the new one is being constructed
  • A Seniors Living apartment complex
When is project completion anticipated?

Once construction begins, it’s anticipated occupation of the new clubhouse and apartments will occur within two years.

Who is going to be running the facility?

The major point of difference with this business model is that Watermark Retirement Living would remain the operator and manager of the completed retirement village following its supervision of design and construction. Watermark Retirement Living has a proven track record in managing the highly regarded retirement village at Watermark Castle Cove. The Chatswood Golf Club will continue as a licensed sporting club, subject to normal operational regulations.

What are the benefits for Club membership?
The long-term viability of the Club is the benefit for members. The newly completed clubhouse will provide members with access to a broader range of services and new facilities including lessons with accredited PGA professionals. The golf course will also be upgraded as part of the development. A professional course designer will make it more appealing to a broader golfing community.
Will there be disruption for Club members?

Some playing disruption will occur during the upgrade process to various parts of the course. These will be staged to minimise disruption as much as possible. The course is expected to remain open and functioning throughout the project.

What are the benefits to the local community?

The aim of the project is to preserve the golf course while offering more facilities that can be used by local residents and the broader community. Protection of the environment and the improved use of green spaces in the area are fundamental requirements of the local community.

Will there be increased traffic as a result of the project?

To help predict the potential impact on traffic in the area, a 24×7 traffic flow study was conducted between 24 April and 7 May, 2017. There are two main factors that quell the potential impacts on traffic.

1.Peak hour for seniors does not coincide with the broader road network peak hours.

2.Seniors will have access to an onsite mini-bus for trips to the local shops and service facilities.

The results of this study estimate the accommodation of new residents in the area will result in an additional 43 vehicle movements in and out of the golf club precinct across the entire day. 

How will the project affect my current outlook and views?

The new Chatswood Golf and Leisure Resort has been cleverly designed to sit below the site lines of neighbouring properties. This means that local residents will not be impacted by overlooking or shadowing. You will still enjoy sweeping views across Lane Cove National Park and beyond.

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