A.B Paterson College to be gifted Arundel land for new sporting hub as local clubs back much-needed facilities

WORDS: Ocean Road Magazine Editorial Staff PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

The developer seeking to repurpose part of the abandoned Arundel Hills Country Golf Club into a residential estate is gifting approximately seven hectares of the site to A.B. Paterson College for sporting fields and indoor stadiums in a move that has been heralded as a massive boost for local sporting clubs and the community.

As part of its commitment to delivering a lasting benefit for the community, Arundel Estate Developments has announced it will hand over 73 per cent of the former golf course land for community use, including almost approximately seven hectares to the College.

The College then intends to transform much of the former private members-only golf course into a new sporting hub for use by other local sporting clubs and organisations, amid the release of open green space for public use.

The detailed plan proposes the development of six tennis courts, two indoor basketball courts, two outdoor basketball courts, an indoor environmental centre for environmental studies, and an AFL-sized field to be used as a multi-purpose facility for AFL, soccer, cricket and rugby.

The sporting field will incorporate a club room, changing rooms, canteen, seating and carpark facilities for sporting clubs and the public, while the grounds will have lighting for night games and training.

Civil works for the new sporting hub will be undertaken by 3Group, a consortium which owns the dilapidated former Arundel Hills Country Club and golf course. A.B. Paterson College has agreed to fund the construction.

Local sporting clubs have also swung their support behind the proposal, citing the need for more open space on the Gold Coast to facilitate greater participation in sports activities.

The proposal aligns with the AFL Queensland Facilities Plan 2020-2025 which states that as AFL continues to grow in popularity across Queensland, it is vital for the Gold Coast region to increase facility capacity to cater for participation and population growth.

“Total participation in the Gold Coast region has shown strong growth over the last five years, increasing by 39 per cent since 2014. Total female participation has grown by 484 per cent since 2014 and now makes up 41 per cent of total participation,” said the report.

“Ensuring access to facilities that support existing participation and planning for new facilities in areas of population and participation growth is vital for AFL Queensland.”

Among the clubs supporting the proposal is the area’s biggest sporting organisation, The Southport Sharks AFL Club.

“The Southport Sharks objective is to grow AFL football on the Gold Coast,” said Sharks CEO Dean Bowtell.

“Underpinned by population growth and female participation, the game has grown considerably over the last 10 years. This has placed pressure on the demand for greenspace and any opportunity to secure additional playing fields within the region is supported.

“Given the proximity of the proposed playing field to our club, we would be able to utilise this greenspace to assist the current field constraints for our junior and senior football programs.”

Gold Coast Wildcats, the premier basketball club for the Runaway Bay, Arundel, Biggera Waters and Paradise Point areas, says the new facilities unlock significant potential for the club to grow.

“The Gold Coast Wildcats and the sport of basketball has seen strong year-on-year growth over the recent years,” said Nicholas Sinclair, the president of Gold Coast Wildcats Basketball Club.

“One of the future challenges to the competition is the continued growth of facilities to train and play games in.

“The new facilities in Arundel would be an ideal location for our growing club to train and could be used for games in the future.”

Several other local sporting clubs are also in full support of further training and playing fields becoming available including Southport Labrador Cricket Club, Musgrave Mustangs Soccer Club, Legends FC Soccer Club and Labrador Tigers AFL Club.

Gifting the former members-only golf course land is the centrepiece of Arundel Estate’s plans for the abandoned golf course site upon which the company has proposed to deliver a small-scale master-planned community comprising just 27 per cent of the 67ha site.

Apart from the new sporting hub, the remainder of the site will be retained as open space for recreational and environmental purposes.

Arundel Estate is planning to develop 380 lots for new houses, which would accommodate a community of up to 1,200 people amid the Gold Coast’s current housing crisis.

“We believe that gifting the bulk of this site to the school provides a great outcome for the community, not only for A.B. Paterson College which has grown to become a leading centre for learning on the Gold Coast over the past three decades, but for the many sporting clubs in throughout the area that are also looking for room to continue growing within their codes,” said Steven Kleytman, CEO of 3Group and developer of Arundel Estate Development .

“This new sporting hub will deliver state-of-the-art sporting facilities that are desperately needed amid the rapid growth of the local population, while also providing the public with open greenspace that they can access every day.

A.B. Paterson College, which opened in 1991 with just 262 students, has grown to support a student community of more than 1,600 students with a waiting list.

“This development offers a number of rare and important opportunities for the College, and our entire school community would be significantly disadvantaged were it not to proceed,” said Joanne Sheehy, Principal of A.B. Paterson College.

“This development has presented us with an opportunity to create significant new sporting facilities to help us develop more of those well-rounded future leaders our community needs.

“As well as adding to the facilities of the College, the development will add critical mass to the local community. We strongly encourage Gold Coast City Council to allow this development to proceed to the next stage for the benefit of everyone in our College community.”

Arundel Estate earlier this year announced plans to transform part of the Arundel Country Club into an environmentally focused and sensitively integrated residential community while opening up the remaining land to educational and community uses as well as environmental reserve targeting a restoration of koala habitat.

Under the proposal put forward by Arundel Estates, just 27 per cent of this site will be used to deliver an additional 380 lots for detached dwellings to accommodate up to 1,200 residents releasing much-needed housing supply through an infill development in light of the shortage of housing on the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast City Council is currently assessing the master planned development by Arundel Estate Developments.