Changes coming for former bunker site
A former Diefenbunker site that became a unique golf course could be reborn as a commercial site.
The owner of the 22.7-acre slice of land next to Hwy 2A just east of Springbrook has applied to Red Deer County to rezone the land from commercial recreation to highway commercial.
The bylaw amendment was given first reading in council on Tuesday.
The site has had an interesting history. It was home to one of two fallout shelters built in the 1960s to provide a safe place for federal and provincial officials to wait out a nuclear attack.
Following the closure of CFB Penhold, the two bunkers were sold as surplus assets.
The government decided to re-acquire the properties in 1998 following an RCMP investigation into allegations criminals wanted to purchase the bunkers.
In 2001, the government decided to demolish the bunkers because of security risks and the costs to maintain the bunkers. Site cleanup wasn’t fully completed until last year.
The site was turned into a nine-hole golf course that opened in 2010. The course was designed around light, low-compression balls that only flew about one-third the distance of a traditional golf ball.
Geared to families, the course called The Bunker @ Springbrook operated until last December.
Sharon-Eve Lang, who owned it with husband Kieran Lang, said the landowner, Bill Woof, who was also a part owner in the course, decided to go in a new direction.
Lang said she is sorry to see the course go, which her husband had researched and planned for a decade.
“It was a good idea. It was cheap for people to play golf, you could play with your regular clubs. You could take your kids out there. It was a real family thing.”
Woof could not be reached for comment on his future plans for the area on Wednesday.
A public hearing is set for Nov. 19 in Red Deer County council chambers.