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No new lease for Keppel

Golf clubs to lose courses

Keppel Club, which has a golf course in Bukit Chermin Road, will not get its lease renewed when it runs out in 2021.

The 44 hectares of land the private club occupies is needed for housing development, the Ministry of Law said yesterday.

Seven other clubs, whose leases run out in less than a decade, will be offered extensions. The new leases will run till 2030, 2035 or 2040.

These are the Changi Golf Club, National Service Resort and Country Club (Changi), Orchid Country Club, Seletar Country Club, Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore Island Country Club and Tanah Merah Country Club.

The Singapore Island Country Club will be offered a new lease for only three of its four 18-hole courses. The fourth one will be run as a public course after its lease expires in 2021.

This is because the lease of the public Marina Bay Golf Course will also not be renewed when it expires in 2024.

The Orchid Country Club will have its lease extended by seven years till 2030. Thereafter, it will not be offered a new lease as the 107 ha site will make way for housing.

The announcement puts an end to months of speculation after the Government indicated that some golf club land might be taken back for other uses.

In its statement yesterday, the ministry noted that golf is enjoyed by many Singaporeans and golfing facilities add to Singapore's attractiveness as a business hub.

"However, golfing and golf clubs are land intensive and there is a need to balance the competing demands for land," it said.

"As a result, the amount of land used for golfing will have to be reduced over time and the sites reallocated for uses such as housing and public infrastructure."

The Tanah Merah Country Club and the National Service Resort & Country Club in Changi will be the first to be hit because of Changi Airport's expansion.

The Government will acquire 10 ha of the former's Garden Course before the end of the year and the latter will lose one of its three nine-hole courses and its executive course when its short-term temporary occupation licence runs out in August.