SICC members can submit proposal to give up a course at Island location

The exterior of the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC). Members of Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) were told on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014, that the club "is at liberty" to submit an alternative proposal on which course would be converted into a p
The exterior of the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC). Members of Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) were told on Thursday, Feb 27, 2014, that the club "is at liberty" to submit an alternative proposal on which course would be converted into a public one when its lease expires in 2021.  -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

MEMBERS of Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) were told on Thursday that the club "is at liberty" to submit an alternative proposal on which course would be converted into a public one when its lease expires in 2021.

The public course will be managed by the labour movement.

The alternative proposal is subject to approval and must meet terms and conditions outlined by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw), SICC president Tay Joo Soon said in a club newsletter.

The issue of land lease extensions for golf clubs here was thrown in the spotlight after the Government said last January that it would take back some land for redevelopment purposes. Earlier this month, it was announced that by 2030, some 219ha of land, or a third the size of Ang Mo Kio town, will make way for housing and commercial developments.

The plans include taking back the only 18-hole public golf course here after 2024. But with the government keen to keep golf accessible to the public, NS men and the labour movement, SICC will have to give up one of its four courses to the public.

At a briefing session held on Feb 16 with representatives from government agencies and Law Minister K Shanmugam, the club was told that three out of its four courses would be offered lease extensions.

Its two courses at the Island location off Upper Thomson Road will be offered leases through to 2040. Only one of two courses at its Bukit location off Lornie Road will get its lease extended till 2030, if certain criteria is met.

But some members had asked if the arrangement could be swapped; that is, for the club to give up one course at the Island location for public use instead.

Mr Tay said the club's general committee had received a letter from MinLaw, outlining considerations that have to be taken into account for its alternative proposal. SICC members will have to ensure that there are sufficient ancillary golfing facilities for the public course and the feasibility of carving out an 18-hole course at the Island location for reallocation as a public course. The club will have a members-only dialogue will be held on March 5 to discuss the club's land lease extension.

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