Council has agreed that the RMS can lease the old Batemans Bay Bowling Club land and that they can flatten the building and greens, remove all the material and return it to "green field" before setting up their construction compound for the next three to four years with reports of a rental of $3000 per week which will go towards paying the interest off on the $2m loan Council took out to purchase the property in 2016. At its ordinary meeting of 26 April 2016 Council resolved to enter into negotiations for the purchase of Lots 282, 283 and 299 DP 755902 and Lot 304 DP 257116 being land formerly known as the Batemans Bay Bowling Club.
Council resolved that when Contracts for Sale were exchanged public notice be given of Council’s intention to classify the land as operational. Contracts for Sale were exchanged on 29 April 2016. Notice of Council’s intention that the site be acquired as operational land was placed in the Bay Post and Moruya Examiner on 1 June 2016. Written submissions were received until 4 pm on 29 June 2016. 15 submissions were received opposing the proposed classification. The main issues and concerns raised are addressed in this report under Community Engagement. Of these 15, 11 were a standard letter from members of one community group. The community group then withdrew their submission provided Council provides a written assurance that the community will not lose tenure over any of the four titles of Bowling Club land, without comprehensive and transparent community engagement. It was advised that by Council that they were not proposing to ‘change’ the classification of the former bowling club land from Community land to Operational land and that it had no classification Having been privately owned, under the Local Government Act must be classified as either community or operational land within three months of acquisition. Council has since called for expressions of interest from experienced developers hoping to engage a "partner" to construct a mix of community and private sector uses within the precinct. Council's ideas included a mix of development outcomes including conference or convention facilities, tourism accommodation, arts and culture or cinema centre, seniors living, restaurants or café, tourism and recreational facilities and upgrade of the aquatic centre. With Council putting no "skin in the game" other than their owning the land prospective investors were understandably not forthcoming. With Council's Coastal Management Plan and the conditions being development placed on adjacent areas such as Surfside and Hanging Rock the risk of loss of investment due to likely rezoning constraints added to the mix and more recent revelations that the proposed new piers of the Batemans Bay Bridge have not had comprehensive hydrological studies carried out. Any prospective multi-million investor considering the Batemans Bay Bowling club site would be concerned with the following statement in the Batemans Bay Bridge replacement Hydrology and coastal processes assessment Roads and Maritime Services Reference: 256009 Revision: 3 19 October 2017 "If site levels are raised through earthworks to achieve a 1% AEP flood immunity, an impact on surrounding flood levels is likely. Should this be considered for these facilities, an impact assessment would need to be undertaken to demonstrate that any potential impacts are considered acceptable, in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Filling on the Reef Motel Inn site could cause increases in flood levels on adjacent properties and within Mcleods Creek. For the Bowling Club, there could be impacts on flood behaviour extending west across Mcleods Creek or to the south in the Mackay Park area."
Though Council have indicated that they will most likely sell the land at the end of the lease period to the RMS, as indicated via comments made by Council staff and councillors during discussions with the Batemans Bay Mackay Park Sunset the motion by Council of July 12th 2016 stands that: Council assures the community that they will not lose tenure over any of the four titles of Bowling Club land, without comprehensive and transparent community engagement.