Golf clubs to meet govt agencies over leases

The Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) Bukit course. Golf clubs here with 10 years or less left on their leases look set to find out on Feb 16 if these will be renewed and for how long. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) Bukit course. Golf clubs here with 10 years or less left on their leases look set to find out on Feb 16 if these will be renewed and for how long. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Golf clubs here with 10 years or less left on their leases look set to find out on Feb 16 if these will be renewed and for how long.

The issue has been a hot topic of speculation since January last year when the Government indicated that some golf club land might be taken back for other uses.

Members of golf clubs, especially those with leases expiring within the next decade, have been concerned over their membership values.

The Ministry of Law confirmed the timing of the announcement to The Straits Times yesterday, in response to queries about two separate circulars sent out by the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) and Keppel Club.

Both circulars, dated Tuesday, were sent to members stating that closed-door, members-only briefing sessions with government agencies on the lease renewals would be held on Feb 16.

Keppel Club's meeting will start at 1.30pm, while the SICC's will commence at 4pm that day.

The Straits Times understands that the SICC and Keppel are the two of the 18 golf clubs in Singapore that have so far scheduled meetings between the authorities and their members on Feb 16.

The SICC has four 18-hole golf courses, the largest number among the golf clubs here.

Keppel Club's greens are zoned for residential purposes and "subject to detailed planning", as shown in the Draft Master Plan 2013 released last November. The lease expires in 2021.

Two years ago, rumours suggested that Keppel Club had been offered plots around Yio Chu Kang Road or Lorong Halus but nothing has been confirmed so far.

Market talk also suggested that the club might be allowed to bid for one of the SICC's four courses as a replacement.

Other clubs with less than a decade left on their leases include Sentosa Golf Club, Tanah Merah Country Club, Changi Golf Club, and the National Service Resort and Country Club in Changi.

The Land Use Plan released in January last year flagged plans to redevelop some golf courses to better use land with low-intensity usage.

Among members, talk has been rife that even clubs which get their leases renewed may not enjoy long lease tenures.

Thirteen of the 18 clubs here have 30-year lease tenures.

rjscully@sph.com.sg

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