10 Sep / 2014

Soccer Club lease change request queried

The Canberra Chronicle and online Canberra Times has reported that ACT Planning and Land Agency (ACTPLA) has asked the Deakin Soccer Club to provide more information about the reasons for seeking to remove the concessional status from its lease and to amend the lease purposes.

According to the Chronicle, the Club has not clarified what different purposes it has in mind for the land, but has stated that de-concessionalising the lease would make it easier for the Club to borrow money.

Residents will be aware that many clubs around Canberra, originally founded with concessional lease grants, have later become commercially un-viable. In some cases this has followed taking out excessive loans mortgaged against their property leases – the Brumbies in Griffith were a recent example.

See also the Canberra Times report on closure and sale of the Deakin West Bowls Club for private commercial development, after being taken over by the Hellenic Club.

Deakin Soccer Club has a very active sports program and a large and well-appointed Club premises available for community purposes. Not long ago it was allowed to sell off parts of its lease for residential development, on the basis that this would “secure the financial future” of the Club and the public amenities it provides under its lease conditions.

Residents need to be very wary that any future development plans do not further erode the public open space and community amenities for which the Club has responsibility.

Read The Chronicle‘s report.