Horton Park Golf Course.
Horton Park Golf Course.

Lend Lease pursues Horton Park Golf Club for $2.68M

LEND Lease is pursuing Horton Park Golf Club for $2.68m it claims it is owed in relation to its 2009 bid to purchase the 53ha central Maroochydore site and to relocate the golf course.

Members have been informed the international construction and property giant issued a summons on the club last week.

President Geoff Davies said yesterday that the club would engage senior counsel to defend the action.

He said he was extremely disappointed that Lend Lease had decided to take on a member-based club.

Horton Park received a $42m compensation package from Sunshine Coast Council in 2011 and is in the process of constructing a new 18-hole course at Bli Bli, to be known as the Maroochy River Golf Club.

Council will redevelop the old course as part of its Maroochydore Principal Development Area which will become the region's commercial heart.

The $2.68m claim relates to an agreement that the club board of the day signed with Lend Lease in 2009 which allowed the developer to claw back costs it had incurred in doing its own due diligence to buy the land and to relocate Horton Park to Twin Waters. The amount was payable if the club negotiated sale of the golf course to the council.

In the end council resumed the course and paid compensation.

The scramble for the prime central Maroochydore property was sparked when the global financial crisis claimed Babcock and Brown which had negotiated purchase of the club and its relocation to Forest Glen.

The fallout from the collapse of the Babcock and Brown deal left the membership bitterly divided between those who wanted to stay put, those who wanted to buy Twin Waters and those who wanted relocation.

Following the resumption and settlement package from council the club commissioned a new Graham Marsh design which is being built on former caneland bordered by David Low Way and the Maroochy River.

Relocation must take place by March next year.

Mr Davies said the Lend Lease action was very disappointing. "We are making wonderful progress on the new course and we have a happy membership,'' he said.

"This is a distraction.

"We will have to spend member funds on legal fees we can't recover.''

Lend Lease did not respond yesterday to questions about the basis of the claim and its timing.

Maroochy Weekly  Maroochy Weekly

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