Students and the community set to win big as exclusive country club is opened up

A.B Paterson College has scored a big win for current and future students through a seven-hectare land gift, which has been offered as part of the rejuvenation of the defunct Arundel Hills Country Club.

Under plans lodged with the Gold Coast City Council today the owners of the course have offered the land parcel, worth many millions of dollars, to the school to create sports and recreation facilities.

A.B. Paterson College Principal Joanne Sheehy said the extraordinary windfall would benefit current and future students, as well as the wider Arundel community.

“We strive to develop young people of good character, who are leaders and active participants in their communities,” Ms Sheehy said.

“A key aspect of developing good character and leadership takes place outside of the classroom and on the sporting fields.  Currently we need to bus our students to other facilities across the Gold Coast and often limit the number of teams in particular sports due to the inability to access quality facilities.  

“This land gift will allow us to create playing fields, clubhouse amenities and indoor sporting facilities just 200 metres from our campus, and give opportunities to young people that simply aren’t available right now.”

The site owners, Arundel Estates, have lodged a master plan application with Council which earmarks 68 per cent of the former country club site as parks, recreation, wetlands, and public open space.

Spokesperson Dale Carroll said the remaining 32 per cent would be reserved for low-density detached housing only, with no high rise or multi-level apartments.

“We are very pleased to be working with A.B Paterson College to deliver new facilities and new opportunities for young people,” Mr Carroll said.

“Following the closure of the Golf Course, we know the local community is keen to see green and open space retained for public and active use. 

“We believe our proposal strikes the perfect balance between the demand for new housing to accommodate population growth of young families and downsizers on the Gold Coast and the need to preserve public open space.

“We’re opening up what was once an exclusive enclave enjoyed only by a few people playing golf , but now the whole community can use the site, and we’re investing in the health and education of young people through our gift of land to the College.”

Ms Sheehy said the College would embark on a consultation process with parents and students to finalise the facilities that it will create on the site.

“We anticipate that this will take the form of playing fields, clubhouse, and indoor sporting facilities. However, this will ultimately be a decision for our entire College community, and we will be having that discussion in the coming months.”

Ms Sheehy said the College would also host a number of community consultations on the overall master plan, so the wider community could have a say.  Details of community consultation sessions will be finalised in the coming weeks.

“To be clear, the College is not part of the application to Council, but we are fully supportive because of the generous gift we have been offered and the other benefits for the wider Arundel community.”