Five thousand apartments and a new football stadium will be built on Kogarah Golf Club‘s course at Arncliffe under revised plans for the Cooks Cove development.
A new golf course and clubhouse will be built to the north of the present site, covering Barton Park and the area occupied by the dilapidated St George Stadium.
The proposal to relocate the stadium and build homes instead of a technology park was revealed by the Leader in April after golf club members were consulted.
Full details have now been released to the community, and a development application for the first stage is due to be lodged in less than two weeks.
The project is being developed by Cook Cove Inlet Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of John Boyd Properties, which has represented the privately owned golf club since the initial master plan was released in 2004.
Senior planner Bernard Gallagher said the 100 hectare site, stretching from Marsh Street, Arncliffe, to Bestic Street, Rockdale, had been been divided into two precincts.
The development application to be lodged this month would be for the southern precinct, providing a new golf course with a clubhouse located near where St George Stadium stands.
Subject to approval, it was hoped to start work in April-May next year and be finished by the end of 2018.
Mr Gallagher said a rezoning application for the northern precinct would be lodged in about March next year.
This would include 5000 apartments and a 750-seat stadium and adjoining field, both with synthetic pitches.
The plans would also include a cafe-restaurant precinct, a park on the edge of Cooks River and a cycle-pedestrian path around both precincts.
Mr Gallagher said a decision on the rezoning application, to be made by the state government, would take about 12 months.
The government and Bayside Council, who own land parcels on the site, had agreed in principle to the plans, he said.
Mr Gallagher said the revised plans were “much better, overall” than those in the approved 2004 masterplan.
He defended the proposed construction of apartment blocks instead of the original idea of creating thousands of jobs in a hi-tech business park.
“There will still be an element of employment, but all of the research we have done over the last five years is that style of employment is really not viable on the site anymore,” he said.
“That was a thought in time, in the late 1990s, early 2000s, when hi-tech industries were the go, and since then there has been a change in attitude and a lot of those businesses are staying close to the city in places like Surry Hills and Redfern.
“The other big change is the airport does a lot of employment and retail on their own site.”
Mr Gallagher said they had “not got to the stage” of deciding the heights of apartments blocks.
He said the project would provide many environmental improvements, including “a whole range of open space opportunities”.
“The benefit is it will be much closer to the growing population in Wolli Creek and Arncliffe,” he said.
“There are a lot of people moving into the area and it is going to open up a lot of foreshore that has been locked up for a long time.”
Mr Gallagher said a site on Cooks River, which at present was overgrown and strewn with burn-out cars, would become Headland Park.
A shared cycle-pedestrian path around Cooks Cove would link to the regional cycleway, with a new bridge to be built across Muddy Creek to Kyeemagh.
The bridge would have a clearance for boats of about four metres, which was the same allowance with the bridge on General Holmes Drive.
Mr Gallagher said a dog walking park, foreshore walk and “even a school if there is a need” were among potential open space opportunities.
Subject to approval, soil excavated for the M5 East duplication as part of WestConnex will be used to cap and fill the southern precinct site, which is heavily contaminated from being used as a council tip and night soil site.
Mr Gallagher said a road would be built internally between the WestConnex works compound on the present golf course to the southern precinct.
This would save up to 50,000 truck movements on local roads.
Mr Gallagher said work on the southern precinct would also greatly improve the water quality of Cooks River.
Leachate resulting from previous uses, which at present made its way into the river, would in future be captured, treated and re-used to irrigate the new golf course.
Mr Gallagher said wetlands would be rehabilitated and habitats of Green and Golden Bell Frogs and migratory wading birds improved.
He said about 50 nearby residents had attended a community information session.
Kogarah Golf Club, which was founded in 1929, moved to Arncliffe in 1956 after selling its original course next to Moorefield Racecourse to the Education Department.
Mr Gallagher said they looked at preserving the building, but it will be demolished.