Greg Norman’s golf course company involved in Hawks Nest beachside development negotiations

An aerial view of the Sanderling Avenue land. Photo: MidCoast Council Minutes.


THE drama and mystery surrounding the development of beachside land on Sanderling Avenue, Hawks Nest has continued this week, with the revelation that former world number one golfer Greg Norman may be playing a key role in the development. 

A spokesperson for Core Leric (a partnership between Core Property Development Pty Ltd and the Leric Group Pty Ltd), who own the land on Sanderling Avenue, told News Of The Area, “Core Leric has entered into advanced negotiation with representatives of GNGCD (Greg Norman Golf Course Design), which is the golf course design and construction development arm of the Greg Norman business organisation.

“Indications are that interests of various parties involved are being aligned.  

“This authority is confirmed in correspondence with GNGCD, and their representatives, not yet released, but is expected to be contracted in the near term.    

“Further confirmations are expected to be issued shortly.”

According to a media statement supplied to News Of The Area by Core Leric, the parties involved believe the Sanderling Avenue land has “tremendous potential for transforming the property into a world class golf residence”.

Mr Norman has designed over 100 golf courses across 34 countries. 

The Core Leric statement indicates the parties are committed to working with all relevant stakeholders through the DA process to produce a result that is both “beautiful and practical”. 

They said the artist’s impression of the development which aired on Four Corners was “uninformed”.

Core Leric and GNGCD said the development would not be visible from the beach.

Obeid Inc, the Four Corners program which brought the planned development to a national audience, alleged links between the land’s development and corrupt former politician Eddie Obeid and his family.

In their media statement, Core Leric said the Four Corners program had erroneously connected the ownership of the land and local councillor Len Roberts with the Obeid family, causing much hurt and grief within the community.

MidCoast Councillor Len Roberts said he did not know the end goal of the developers when he sold the land in his role as CEO of the Karuah Local Aboriginal Land Council.

“At no time did I know who the purchasers were except what was written on the contract.

“They were just names.

“The Golf Club board in 2016 told me that they were not in a financial situation to buy the land and (asked) would the Karuah Land Council sell it to their joint venture partner who they accepted through an expression of interest process.”

The outrage at the planned development has been clear to see across local social media groups since the release of the Four Corners program, with locals concerned the development would set a precedent for large-scale development in the town.

Based on Mr Norman’s record of golf related developments around the globe, Mr Roberts believes any development undertaken by his company would be “appropriate” for the area.

“There is no DA before Council so I cannot comment on something I have not seen,” Mr Roberts said.

“Council has set the height limit and it must be less than the Benchmark (Cnr Booner and Bennett St, Hawks Nest) at the beach and has the same medium density, not high, zoning. 

“The Golf Club carpark and clubhouse have the same zoning,” he said.

“All development proposals must be considered on merit and meet the strategic requirements of the zoning.

“We already have medium density development in Hawks Nest.

“I led the charge at council to refuse one such development very recently at Booner Street, Hawks Nest only for it to be modified and approved by the Land and Environment Court.

“Land in Hawks Nest is either zoned low density residential, medium density residential and small pockets of commercial.

“Some land has an appropriate environmental zoning.”

Having lived in the area for 30 years, Mr Roberts said change is inevitable, but must be managed well.

“I remember the fights over the building of Bi-Lo, Myall Quays, The Grange and the Hermitage, the skatepark, Marine Drive upgrade, the Arts and Craft Centre, the new Library, the obtaining of the Bridge Club land, the placement of pelican spikes on the singing bridge to avoid pelican poop hazards, and most importantly children’s playgrounds.

“I could list more but these things are just examples of change that we needed and have now come to accept as our way of life,” Mr Roberts said.

Kathy Poldmaa and Shane Andrews are administrators of the Hawks Nest Development Facebook group.

Since the airing of the Four Corners episode, the group has swelled in size to include well over 1100 members.

The group’s philosophy is a simple one.

“We support good development that benefits the community and complies with the zoning put in place by the Council.

“Good development will always benefit the community,” Shane said. 

Kathy and Shane, and the many thousands signing petitions online, maintain that any large-scale development is inappropriate for the Sanderling Avenue site.

“The land in question at 1 Sanderling Avenue, is sensitive coastal land between the current Golf Club and Hawks Nest beach. 

“Large scale developments are unsuitable and inappropriate for this parcel of land, based on environmental and visual impacts.

“This will detract from the natural unspoilt coastal character of Hawks Nest, which is the appeal to both tourists and residents alike. 

“I believe this will be the ‘thin edge of the wedge’.”

With the high demand for affordable housing options in the Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens area a growing issue, Shane does not believe the development being proposed will effectively meet the need. 

“Considering Hawks Nest has a larger percentage of holiday properties than permanent resident properties, I can not see how building a resort-style apartment development will address the ‘residential market needs’ of people wishing to settle and live permanently in Hawks Nest. 

“This is not the type of housing development required or wanted to address Hawks Nest’s housing crisis.  

“What we need are family houses, not more holiday apartments,” Shane said.

The Core Leric media statement said, “It should be understood that the land is only 1.4ha in size and already suitably zoned at Medium Density R3, which is in common with neighbouring and numerous existing properties in Hawks Nest.

“Further, the development will not be visible from the beach and it will encourage a sense of healthy active living, with ample green space that is at one with the surrounding environment.”

Shane said the land’s zoning was a contentious issue within the community.

MidCoast Council voted to change the zoning from RE1 Public Recreation to R3 Medium Density Residential in April 2021, increasing the maximum permissible height of building on the subject land from 8.5m to 12m, amongst other changes.

“I note the R3 zoning currently is not signed off and is still in contention with the greater community.

“The community are seeking to have this amended at NSW State government level, the R3 zoning will allow overdevelopment of this sensitive coastal land,” Shane said.

By MidCoast Council’s Ordinary Meeting on April 28 2021, when Council voted to rezone the land, Council had received 74 submissions regarding the Planning Proposal for the land adjoining the Hawks Nest Golf Club. 

Out of the 74 submissions, 65 objected to the proposal, 8 supported the proposal and 1 submission was not relevant to the proposal.

Kathy Poldmaa and Shane Andrews have also now advised the next steps concerned community members can take to have their voices heard regarding the development. 

“As well as the petition we also need to send a message to the NSW Parliament, the NSW Government.

“The e-petition to the NSW Parliament asks the Planning Minister to use his powers to change the zoning back to Public Recreation.

“If more than 20,000 signatures are obtained the petition must be debated in Parliament.
If we get a whole lot more the better. 

“Any resident of NSW can sign this petition to the Parliament.”

The petition is available at

More to come.



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