What happened to the former Belair Golf Course and Country Club?
The Belair Golf Course and Country Club was leased to a number of private businesses from the early 1980s. In early 2018, the businesses closed and management of the site returned to the Department for Environment and Water.
What were the outcomes of the EOI process and are they included in the master plan?
The EOI process resulted in 13 proposals from private businesses and community organisations including a mix of hospitality, community, recreational, sporting and educational activities.
The EOI outcomes confirmed that there isn’t sufficient interest from the private sector to warrant the continued use of this precinct as a golf course and function centre. However it identified several alternative ideas that could contribute to the goals of the park and meet the community’s needs. These include:
- a proposal to operate a mountain bike hire and skills training business
- a proposal from the Sturt Lions Football Club to establish a new home ground and clubrooms noting this proposal requires further consultation, assessment and development approvals needing to take place following the master plan process.
Both proposals are reflected in the master plan.
Is the Function Centre fit for purpose for a new lessee?
Not at present, without further investment and approvals. The previous tenant removed all workable fixtures and the function centre does not currently meet the required fire safety and building code requirements. General building maintenance is also required before it could be leased.
Through the master plan process, it is proposed that the Belair Function Centre is removed and appropriate re-use of the site is an option for further investigation. This may provide further opportunities for existing or prospective partners.
Is there a community reference group involved in the master plan process?
A community reference group has been established. Members were nominated by the Minister for Environment and Water to represent the local community’s views and to assist the Department for Environment and Water in engaging the broader community.
- Chair, Grant Pelton, Department for Environment and Water
- Andrew Aiken, CEO Adelaide Hills Council (proxy Peter Bice, Adelaide Hills Council)
- Matthew Pears, CEO City of Mitcham
- Geoff Bartlett, Secretary, Blackwood Action Group (proxy Tom Morrison, Blackwood Action Group)
- Bernie Morgan, President, Blackwood Rotary Club
- Rhys Roberts OAM, Blackwood Lions Club and Blackwood Memorial Hall
- Dr Robin Uppill OAM Hawthorndene resident
- Dale Thompson, Sturt Group Officer CFS
- Mark Pedlar, President Friends of Belair National Park
- Lynette Crocker, Kaurna Elder
- Danny Rohrlach, President, Sturt Upper Reaches Landcare Group
- Jack Holmes, local community member
- Rachel Pfitzner (ex officio, Department for Environment and Water)
How will the community be able to comment on the master plan?
You can select your preferred way to provide your feedback through this website.
DEW also has an email address for community questions and input regarding the master plan process DEWProtectedAreaManagement@sa.gov.au.
When will the master plan be finalised and how will outcomes be communicated?
It is expected that the master plan process will be completed by May 2021 and outcomes communicated on our website.
How will bushfire risk be managed on the golf course precinct?
The Belair National Park golf course precinct falls under the Hills Face Zone Mount Lofty Ranges Fire Management Plan, which uses science and national best practice to guide activities to help reduce fuel hazards.
The precinct is in what’s called a fire management ‘Bushfire buffer zone’. An area where we manage fuel load to reduce the speed and intensity of bushfires, in order to reduce bushfire risk to nearby assets.
To do this within the precinct, the fuel along the boundary and internal tracks will be slashed up to four times per year, noting this will change over time.
Planning and being prepared for a bushfire is a shared responsibility. It is also important for community members to:
- have a Bushfire Survival Plan,
- prepare their properties well prior to the fire danger season, and
- have a plan in place for total fire ban days.
If you have any queries please contact: DEWFireManagement@sa.gov.au
The National Parks and Wildlife Service’s fire management team letter drops immediate neighbours in the lead up to a prescribed burn. If you would like to be kept informed, you can sign up for email notifications right to your inbox.
How will the natural features of the precinct, including areas of intact native vegetation and local fauna, be protected and enhanced?
Conservation of the natural environment, habitat restoration and revegetation are key roles in ensuring the precinct reflects the standards upheld by the Belair National Park.
Any future activities in the precinct will reflect the objectives in the Belair National Park Management Plan and the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972. Revegetation along the fairways will restore and enhance the local fauna and flora and act as a biodiversity corridor to the broader Belair National Park and Mount Lofty region.
Will public access be limited or altered in any way to the precinct?
We are committed to ensuring that South Australia’s natural environments are accessible and inclusive for all of the community, including those living with a disability. To ensure the precinct is connected to the broader Belair National Park and its facilities, a new accessible trail is proposed.
This will enable visitors in vehicles to park along Creek Road and access the precinct on foot or bike via a short path around the conservation zone of the Belair National Park.
Access to the precinct from the Adventure Loop, popular with mountain bikers, will be made available through a gate on the eastern boundary of the precinct. Access Road, off Upper Stuart Road, provides access to the Belair Caravan Park.
Why is an amendment to the Belair National Park Management Plan proposed to occur?
The Belair National Park Management Plan recognises the former golf course and current caravan park site in a zone for ‘Caravan/golf’. An amendment to this zone is proposed in order to facilitate a range of alternate land uses within the precinct- transitioning this piece of land to future users.
The proposed amendments replace the Golf Course/Caravan Park Zone with a smaller Tourist Accommodation / Development Zone that incorporates the existing caravan park and function centre land and a zone that incorporates the majority of the precinct back into the parks existing Heritage/Recreation zone.
The draft amendment for the Belair National Park is open for 3 months consultation.
What if I have a business proposal for the precinct, can I still submit this whilst the master plan process is progressing?
The master planning process and amendment to the Belair Park Management Plan will need to be finalised before applications that are proposing to use the precinct can be considered by the agency, most likely to be early 2021.
Will the master plan be the final process to allow the Sturt Lions Soccer Club (SLSC) proposal to proceed?
No. The Belair master plan process is only testing the concept and scale of a sporting venue, such as SLFC, to be positioned in the Belair National Park precinct, ensuring that it is consistent with community environmental values and the objectives of the Belair National Park Management Plan and National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.
Where any private sector-led proposals, such as the SLSC, secure in-principle support approval by the Department of Environment and Water as the land manager, further assessment and approvals will be required under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (the Act) and possibly:
- Native Vegetation Act 1991
- Landscape South Australia Act 2019 (Cwlth)
- Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
For example, specific aspects of the SLFC proposal (e.g. the clubrooms, car parks, lighting, hours of operation) would constitute ‘development’ under the Act and therefore would require development (planning and building consent, as necessary) approval. The Sturt Lions Football Club would need to lodge a development application (DA) via the Development Application Processing System or direct to the City of Mitcham.
The DA would likely be performance assessed (i.e. on its merits). This means the relevant planning authority and relevant building authority would assess the DA against the relevant rules in the Planning and Design Code and the National Construction Code. In addition, the relevant planning authority must refer the DA to State agencies for direction as required (e.g. Native Vegetation Council if any clearance proposed, Minister for Heritage if impacting State Heritage Area); notify adjacent landowners (and place a notice on the land); and third parties cannot appeal their decision.
We could recommend to the applicant that further community consultation is undertaken whilst the proposal is assessed through the planning and development portfolio.
What is the size of the soccer club proposal?
The optimal size of the land the soccer club would be requiring to build a clubroom and supporting pitches would be 10 hectares. An alternative option would be to downsize to 5ha reducing the number of pitches with younger leagues sharing the space.
Upcoming key dates
Tue, 4 May 2021 at 5:00 PM
CLOSING DATE: Belair National Park Master Plan
Sun, 14 Feb 2021 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM