Seven golf clubs to renew leases
The Government announced on 16 Feb that the leases of seven golf clubs will expire in the next 10 years and that they would be offered new leases for some of their courses. The leases would be for differing periods which would end between 31 December 2030 and 31 December 2040. They were Changi Golf Club, National Service Resort and Country Club (Changi), Orchid Country Club, Seletar Country Club, Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) and Tanah Merah Country Club.
SICC would be offered a new lease at the Island location until 2040. They would also be offered a new lease for one of the two 18-hole courses at the Bukit location, until 2030. The other 18-hole course at Bukit would be run as a public course upon lease expiry on 31 December 2021 to be operated by the labour movement for the benefit of the general public and the labour movement. This would ensure continued public access to golfing facilities when the Marina Bay Golf Course was phased out for redevelopment. However, in order to secure the extension for the 18-hole course at Bukit, SICC would have to work with the labour movement and conclude an agreement by the end of February 2015 on how the courses could be reconfigured and the necessary arrangements for the sharing of facilities.
Keppel Club's lease would expire on 31 December 2021 and no new lease would be offered as the land was needed for housing development. This plan was announced in 2001 in URA's Concept Plan. To support the club's continuity, if the club was keen, it would be offered an alternative site to operate as a social club. Discussions were on-going as to the possible location. The operator of the new public course would be encouraged to discuss the possibility of offering some arrangement to Keppel Club members.
Tanah Merah Country Club and National Service Resort and Country Club (Changi) would also be offered new leases. However, their courses will become smaller as parts of the sites will be affected by Changi Airport's expansion plans.
Singapore has 17 golf courses (14 private and 3 public) on approximately 1,500 ha of land. The majority of these are located on 30-year leasehold land. Golfing is an activity that is enjoyed by many Singaporeans, with many of them owning or aspiring to own memberships in golf clubs.
However, golfing and golf clubs are land intensive and there is a need to balance the competing demands for land. As a result, the amount of land used for golfing will have to be reduced over time, and the sites reallocated for uses such as housing and public infrastructure.
The decisions for golf clubs with leases expiring within the next 10 years is summarised below. The table set out the cases where it would be possible to grant new leases, if the clubs apply for new leases.