Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
Westbury golf course owners teed-off at delays on planned extension
Plans for the nine-hole extension of the golf course at White Horse Country Park are still awaiting planning permission from Wiltshire Council, with the owners left frustrated by the lack of progress.
The application, which was originally submitted in June 2012, was withdrawn and resubmitted in January, after planning officers told the owners they needed to re-apply as a waste operation.
Derek Hulin, who bought the park with Shaun May for £1.5million in July 2009, said they were hoping to get permission to start work this summer, but the planning officers then asked for an Environmental Impact Assessment.
The course developers appealed against the need for the assessment, which would have cost £30,000, and later received written confirmation from the Secretary of State for Planning that it was not required.
However, the men say the council’s planning officers have continued to delay making a decision on the course extension.
Steven Thompson, the land agent for the course, said: “We have given them all the information they need, but they keep asking for more. “We have now got more information going into them, so we are hoping to get a decision by November.”
Mr Hulin has vowed that they will keep battling on until the plans go through, but many of the current members of the course have been reluctant to renew their membership until the extension is confirmed.
He said: “I think the planning officers are just nitpicking and putting obstacles in our way, because every time we give them the information they request, they come up with something else.
“We need the 18-hole golf course, to bring people into the area. It’s hard for our members, as they can’t compete with people from other golf courses, because we only have the nine holes.
“It’s the first thing that I am asked every week by members. They want to know when the extension is going to happen and I keep telling them that it definitely will go ahead, but we were hoping to be much further ahead by now.
“The 18 holes would link in with the fishing lake, the driving range and the caravan park to create a primary leisure site, which would be a huge benefit to the whole of Westbury.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Council said: “This is a large 24 hectare site in an area of archaeological interest which will involve lorry movements to the site transporting excavated soils from construction sites.
"This raises a number of issues which need to be satisfied to help us properly consider the application.
“We’re still waiting on information from the developers on aspects such as their archaeological survey work and details relating to lorry movements to the site. Once we have all the information requested we will be able to progress the application.”
Comments are closed on this article.