The uncertain future of Frankton’s popular nine-hole golf course appears to have been thrown a lifeline by its powerful neighbour.
Queenstown Airport Corporation has struck a deal to allow Queenstown Golf Club to continue using the aerodrome’s land for a further 10 years.
QAC has decided it won’t yet build a planned taxiway in a 10-hectare area currently occupied by parts of five holes at the golf course – another proposed taxiway at the opposite end of the runway will suffice till 2022.
Discussions between the two neighbours arose after Mountain Scene last year alerted the golf club to the fact that QAC owned part of its course land – and that the land was earmarked for the airport’s ultimate expansion.
Previously, the club thought the entire land parcel was owned by lease-holder Queenstown Lakes District Council.
The club and Mountain Scene had been campaigning to keep the course at its present site when QLDC hinted the long-term lease may not be renewed next year.
A petition to save the 80-year-old course gathered more than 5000 signatures.
Queenstown golf club boss Michael Shattock says the decision is “fantastic news” for the flat course – popular with novices and the elderly.
“Although not yet a fait accompli, it does offer the council options to retain the course and range that weren’t previously available to them.
“In discussions with the new council it has been refreshing to hear debate on what is best for the town, so we are hopeful of a positive outcome.”
Shattock adds he’s grateful to QAC for the opportunity to continue operating in the medium-term.
“A 10-year extension would allow us to reinvest into the Frankton site and provide time to explore every avenue available to allow accessible and affordable golf to be retained close to the town.”
The airport’s current boundary fence will also be pushed out 10 metres, but this is expected to have little impact
on the current golf course layout.
QLDC boss Debra Lawson was unavailable for comment.