Former Tailem Bend Tennis Club may be sold for housing
The Coorong council is asking locals what should be done with a 10,000-square-metre vacant lot on Tenth Street.
Locals support locals – that’s why this post about a current public consultation is free to read. Your support helps Murray Bridge News tell important local stories. Subscribe today.
A property formerly occupied by Tailem Bend Tennis Club may be sold off for housing in the face of the “chronic” shortage in the district.
The 10,000-square-metre parcel of public land on Tenth Street has been vacant since last month, when the club’s new committee voted to move to the netball courts at Jaensch Park.
Meanwhile, Coorong councillors received a report on the dire state of the local housing market at a meeting last week.
While houses were affordable to buy, consultants Civitas Solutions found, there was nothing available on the rental market.
That’s not an exaggeration, either.
In June of this year, just 0.01 per cent of residential properties in the Coorong district were available for rent, and none at Tailem Bend.
Thirty-four employers across the four council districts involved in the Civitas study said they were considering buying houses for their own staff, because otherwise they simply couldn’t get enough workers.
Yet banks were usually only willing to lend about 60 per cent of a property’s sale value to developers in the Coorong and other rural districts, the consultants said, making it much harder to get new projects off the ground.
All that was in the context of a growing population, which the council recently projected could triple to more than 5000 people over the next 30 years.
“There is a chronic, ongoing shortage of housing in the (area),” the consultants said.
“The housing shortage has not (been), and is unlikely to be, addressed with current market mechanisms … largely due to bank lending criteria.
“It appears that market intervention is needed to support the construction of new dwellings.”
The consultants suggested that up to 10 stand-alone houses could be built on the Tenth Street block, which is already zoned for residential use.
What are the options for the old tennis club?
Councillors voted to ask local residents for their thoughts on six possible options for the site:
Sell it on the open market
Subdivide it, then sell it
Sell it through a tender process, with a particular outcome in mind
Keep it, and contract an organisation to build affordable housing on it
Keep it as a public park
A tender process would allow the council to decide what gets built on the land – affordable housing, for example – but could lower the sale price.
On the flip side, subdividing the land would get a better price for ratepayers – but was that the sort of business a council should get into?
In any case, some of the 81 native trees on the block would have to be removed to make way for any development.
A memorial to former Railway Institute member Frank Clapp would have to be shifted somewhere else in the town, too.
The council has not indicated what would happen to the old tennis clubhouse, which was saved after a petition from more than 750 locals in 2016.
The council put $5000 worth of ratepayers’ money towards the consultants’ report, alongside the Southern Mallee, Tatiara and Naracoorte Lucindale councils.
Councillors will make a final decision about the future of the site next February.
More information: www.coorong.sa.gov.au.
Locals support locals. Your support helps Murray Bridge News tell important local stories.