Lease of Russell Polo Ground

Monday, 3 December 2018

Council has agreed to lease an underused portion of land in the Osborne House precinct to the David Hamilton Property Group, owner of the adjoining Powerhouse property.
The land, located at the northern end of the precinct, was once a polo ground. More recently it has been used as a storage site by the City and some community groups.

Council gave notice of its intention to lease on 3 August, and invited feedback over four weeks. A panel of councillors then heard submissions in person on 17 October.

As a result, the boundary of the land has been changed so it doesn’t include the boatshed on the site. It has also been agreed that the land will be referred to as the ‘Russell Polo Ground’ in recognition of its history.

The area being leased does not include Osborne House itself or the adjoining stables.

The lease is for three years and Council is not obligated to sell the land at any time.

At its 24 July meeting, Council agreed to use revenue from the lease to fund ‘restoration or associated planning’ of Osborne House and the stables. A master plan for the precinct is under development and is expected to be made available for community feedback early next year.

Council has committed to working with community groups who use or have used the leased site to find suitable alternatives.

Along with the Powerhouse, the David Hamilton Property Group is also the developer of the nearby Federal Mills Innovation Precinct, which received a National Trust Heritage Award in 2017.

Mayor Bruce Harwood:

It’s pleasing that Council has leased the Russell Polo Ground to a group with a strong track record in re-invigorating underused properties.

It means the Hamilton Group will be able to extend the positive work it is already doing on the Powerhouse site, at the same time generating income for Council.

Cr Pat Murnane, Finance portfolio:

This agreement will provide Council with a useful source of income, which will be put towards planning for the future of Osborne House and the stables, helping these beautiful historic buildings find new life and uses.

Page last updated: Monday, 3 December 2018