Archive:   Who's Behind Golf Course Hill

 Last Updated  27/4/07



ALERT   Who Is Behind The Massive Development Push At Woodend's Iconic Golf Course Hill?

(17/4/07 - P)  MRRA looks at who is behind Davies Hill Pty Ltd - the company selling land to Braemar and no doubt looking in future to rezone the current Farming zone clear the way for massive residential development  It turns out that Woodend local lawyer Mr. HEP (Chinka) Steel, and local development consultant Paul Tomkinson are major players...


Details of a Dunn and Bradstreet company search conducted last month shed some light on who is pushing for wholesale urban development on Woodend's Golf Course Hill.  The company that owns the Davies' farm is Davies Hill Pty. Ltd. and it has three Directors:  Rory Costelloe (Villawood), Robert Leslie Taber, and HEP (Chinka) Steel of Woodend (residents may recall Mr. Steel has been in the local news recently through his activities associated with the winding up of the Macedon Ranges Animal Aid Society).


In the Dunn & Bradstreet report MRRA received for Davies Hill Pty. Ltd., Mr. Steel is listed as currently being on two other boards, and as having previously been on another 153 boards. 


There are only two shareholders in Davies Hill Pty. Ltd.: Devlot5 Pty. Ltd., and Woodend At Heart Pty. Ltd. 


Woodend At Heart Pty. Ltd. has as its Directors HEP Steel; Paul Tomkinson of New Gisborne; Mr. Mark O'Brien of Warrandyte; and Mr. Christopher Dance of Ivanhoe (landscape consultant who has previously done work within Macedon Ranges Shire).


Mr. Paul Tomkinson has an office in Woodend, and many residents will remember the numerous planning applications put forward by Tomkinson Surveyors Pty. Ltd. in Macedon Ranges Shire in recent years.


There are 5 shares in Woodend At Heart Pty. Ltd. and the shareholders are Morris Point Pty. Ltd. (1 share); County Cavan Pty. Ltd. as trustee for County Cavan Investment Trust (1); Tomkinson Surveyors Pty. Ltd. (1); HEP & ME Steel (1); and 1 share is jointly owned by Paul Tomkinson, Christopher Dance, HEP Steel and Mark O'Brien. 


Click here to see an overview of the company searches.


MRRA Says:


If anyone can help with information about Morris Point Pty. Ltd. and County Cavan Pty. Ltd., MRRA sure would be pleased to hear from you.


It's not the first time Mr. Steel has had an involvement in companies looking for approval for major development approvals in Woodend.  One which springs to mind is Toltack Pty. Ltd., a company of which Mr. Steel was at one stage a Director, and which was associated with a retirement village that never eventuated on the north side of Mt. Macedon Road.  Mr. Steel was a Director of Toltack Pty. Ltd. at the time the company bought the land from Hilton Nicholas (former owner of Shirley Park) for $145,000 and a planning application was made for a 128 unit retirement village proposal.  Mr. Steel left Toltack Pty. Ltd. some months prior to the development application being approved by the Shire of Newham and Woodend on 4th December 1990 but from historical documentation appears to have continued to act for the company, which was deregistered on 8th December 1992. 


Shortly after the retirement village planning permit was approved, Toltack Pty. Ltd. appears to have sold the land to New Life Retirement Villages Woodend Pty. Ltd. for some $800,000.  Works started, but not long after New Life Retirement Villages Woodend Pty. Ltd. went into receivership and the proposal did not proceed.  Subsequently, Victorian and Federal police reportedly investigated a director of New Life Retirement Villages and it was also understood the same director was under investigation by a US Senate committee examining a scam involving an insurance company. 


The land was eventually sold by Woodend real estate agent John Keating for $202,000 in December 1992 after earlier being passed in at auction for $150,000.