Illawarra Ridge Golf Resort lands in the rough

An illustration of the ill fated resort.
An illustration of the ill fated resort.

The controversial Illawarra Ridge Golf Resort development faces a bleak future as one of its owners battles in the Supreme Court to keep possession of the Maddens Plains property.

In a decision handed down on April 4, Justice Geoffrey Bellew dismissed an application by owner Christopher Brian Birch to stay the execution of a writ of possession on the 56-hectare Princes Highway property.

The finding comes as a substantial blow to Mr Birch, the registered owner and proprietor of the Illawarra Golf Club property, who has taken the appointed receivers and mortgagee of the property to court.

It follows a Supreme Court ruling in September last year entitling receivers to possession of the land.

Co-owner and proprietor Sandra Lee Tarrant, who was bankrupt as of July 2013, has not been party to the legal proceedings.

Plans for the controversial golf resort have fallen off the map in recent years as, behind the scenes, the owners failed to repay a $5 million loan they secured over the property in 2004.

Illawarra Golf Club Pty Ltd was subsequently placed into liquidation and made subject of an order for possession in August 2012.

The business was deregistered in April last year.

Despite the owners' financial woes, developers Links Living Group were confident the $108 million project was going ahead when they announced in 2010 they had secured funding from an international group called Western Gulf Advisory.

On Monday they failed to respond to the Mercury's questions regarding their interest in the property or the likelihood of the development being realised.

The golf resort proposal includes a nine-hole golf course and driving range; a clubhouse with a golf shop, restaurant and bar; 100 hotel rooms, 100 serviced apartments and 200 short stay villas.

It was approved by then Planning Minister Kristina Keneally in 2009, despite objections from resident groups, Wollongong City Council and Rural Fire Service.


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