Golf course to be remodeled and log cabins will be built.
The plan also allows for 25 log cabins to be built on land currently used as the 1st hole of the golf course, to adapt the existing driving range building to provide enclosed space to accommodate four driving range simulators, and for the formation of a new golf course hole on part of land associated with the existing driving range
Max Bishop, Managing Director of Operations at the Fingle Glen Golf Hotel, said that the redevelopment of the golf club was vital to safeguard its future.
He told councillors that across the country, golf clubs are struggling and that it is vital that they diversify and change to support the demographics that still enjoy playing golf. He said that without the existing log cabins on the site, ‘there is no doubt we would have already succumbed’, but this will secure the future of the club.
Mr Bishop added: “This will safeguard the club and it will continue to contribute to tourism and be a strong employer in the area.”
The plans include:
- Adaption of the existing driving range building to provide enclosed space to accommodate four driving range simulators
- Formation of a new golf course hole on part of land associated with the existing driving range
- Siting of 25 log cabins on land currently used as the 1st hole of the golf course.
- Extension of the external terrace of the club house
He added that the change to the driving range would enable the tall fencing to be removed as the land currently used as part of the driving range, as would the high power sodium flood lights.
In terms of the golf course itself, the application outlined that it would be an improvement to it. The report to the committee said: “Currently the both the 1st and 18th holes do not relate well to the clubhouse. The alterations to the course would mean that the 18th hole would finish adjacent to the southern side of the club house and the 1st tee would be moved to the front (north) of the clubhouse.”
Recommending approval, councillors were told: “The proposed development would provide improvements to the operation of an existing business through changes to the golf course layout and through upgrading the driving range to an electronic system. The expansion of the holiday accommodation on the site would provide diversification which would further support the business.
“The proposal incorporates provision of new landscaped areas to mitigate the impact of the development into the landscape dominated site. There are gains from the development in the form of removal of the high netted fence around the driving range and the sodium flood lights.
“The proposed new lodges would be sited on the least sensitive part of the site in terms of landscape impact and it is concluded that the proposal would not harm the landscape character of the area.
“Local concern has been raised about potential noise and disturbance but it is considered that the relationship would be acceptable and the proposal would not result in level of harm to residential amenity that would justify refusing the application.”
The local parish had opposed the application and said that it was ‘urbanisation by the back door’, but Cllr Charles Nuttall, proposing the scheme be approved, said: “I fully understand the concerns expressed by the parish council but I think we should accept the recommendation for approval.”
Cllr Lin Goodman-Bradbury added: “I support it. It is a well-structured application and the site visit gave me no planning reason to refuse it.”
Councillors voted by 15 votes to zero, with one abstention, to approve the application.