Horton Park Golf Club is at the centre of a $2.68 million legal battle with developers Lend Lease.
Horton Park Golf Club is at the centre of a $2.68 million legal battle with developers Lend Lease. Brett Wortman

Developer sues Horton Park Golf Club for $2.68m

LEND Lease will allege Horton Park Golf Club failed to fulfil its obligations under a heads of agreement that gave it exclusive rights to conduct due diligence on a proposal to relocate the club and develop its central Maroochydore property.

The property development giant has filed a claim in the Supreme Court of Queensland seeking $2.68 million from the club, any further relief the court may impose, interest in damages and costs.

In its statement of claim, Lend Lease says the club had agreed not to encumber, sell, transfer or otherwise dispose or agree to dispose of its existing facilities or its interest in a new site west of Kunda Park without the developer's consent, which would not be unreasonably withheld.

The eight-week due diligence period was extended from July 26, 2010, until December 31 of that year.

In its claim, Lend Lease says it negotiated with the Japanese owner of Twin Waters in a bid to secure an option to purchase it as a new home for the club.

It had also identified Sunshine Coast Council as a potential buyer of the existing land, developed a master plan for Horton Park and negotiated with then planning minister Stirling Hinchliffe regarding a reduction in infrastructure costs.

The claim states that in early September, 2010, club representative Tony Nicholson had told Lend Lease's Gary Horwith by phone that the council was directly dealing with the club and wanted to acquire the Horton Park site.

Those negotiations, Lend Lease claims, started before September and constituted a breach of exclusivity promises made by the club to Lend Lease, which had not been informed.

The claim further alleges that on September 30, planning officer Ron Piper informed a meeting which included Horton Park representatives, Mr Nicholson, Geoff Davies and Denis Manton, as well as council director of planning Warren Bunker and Mr Horwith that council intended to acquire the site.

Horton Park president Geoff Davies said he could not understand why Lend Lease would start an action it could not win against a small membership-based club.



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