This week: Marsfield, Cronulla and Canberra sporting clubs seeking retirement village cash – all facing opposition from advocacy groups

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The new wave of consumer advocacy: The fabled rugby TG Millner Sportsground at Marsfield, 17 km from the Sydney CBD, is the latest to join the list with North Ryde RSL planning to build retirement living and other housing on the well-known grounds.

The RSL Club bought the venue from the Eastwood District Rugby Union last year and plans to keep two playing fields and also add a licensed club and childcare centre.

But residents are lobbying Council to turn down the application.

An artist’s impression of the Woolooware Bay Town Centre development

Over in Sydney’s south, the Cronulla Sharks Rugby League Club has been approved for a major expansion including senior’s housing at its Woolooware Bay Town Centre development which is a joint partnership with real estate developer Capital Bluestone.

30% (73) of the extra 244 apartments will be allocated to housing for the elderly and disabled. The total development will be the largest in the Sutherland Shire with 880 apartments – 38% more than originally approved for the site.

Sutherland Council and residents had objected to the new apartments, but were overruled by the Department of Planning and Environment.

The site of the proposed village at the Federal Golf Club

And in Canberra, village operator Mbark has formally signed a contract with the Federal Golf Club to build 123 units on part of its course at Red Hill – the eighth proposal put forward for the site since 1995.

Mbark, led by John Leo and Adam Somerville, has a 99-year peppercorn lease with the Club. Under its plan, 10.4 hectares would be returned to the Red Hill Nature Reserve, while the village and clubhouse would only take up 6.5 hectares of the 85-hectare block.

The plan has the Club’s approval – they estimate the development will add around $18 million to their coffers.

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