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  • Footgolf course plan for Beacon Centre

    Henry James

    SERCO Leisure has submitted plans to build a nine-hole footgolf course at the Beacon Park Golf Centre in Dalton.

    The application, which been recommended for approval by West Lancs Council officers, seeks permission to remove stockpiled in-fill from the former golf driving range at Beacon Park to form the footgolf course.

    It will be discussed at a meeting of the authority’s planning committee tomorrow (Thursday).

    Serco is also proposing to retrospectively regularise earthworks carried out to form a linear series of landscape mounds on the southern fringe of the centre’s 18-hole golf course and seek minor amendments of previously approved enhancements to the southern part of the course, including land level increases.

    Beacon Park Golf Club is situated between Beacon Lane to the east and Stannanought Road to the west. The site is in the Green Belt and is a recreation facility and a nature conservation site.

    The application is seeking amendments to a previous planning permission.

    Works started on the Beacon Park site following the initial grant of planning permission for remodelling of parts of the golf course and adjacent land, including the importation of significant amounts of inert material.

    As well as works to form a nine-hole short course, stockpiling took place on the former driving range site. Work then stopped on site without the changes to the 18-hole course being finished.

    The stockpiled area was then made a subject of a Breach of Condition Notice (BCN) because of local landscape and visual amenity impacts. The notice said the land had to be levelled in line with the terms of the 2016 presentation.

    The proposals in this application are revisions to the consented scheme to seek to address the stockpile which was subject of the BCN.

    Director of development and regeneration services at West Lancs Council, John Harrison, wrote in his planning report for the meeting that he was in favour of the application but added: “I am aware of concerns that the proposals may result in lengthy disruptions to course users with implications for competitive golf and handicaps.

    “The proposed works will inevitably result in disruption during an interim halt to use of the first fairway, green and second tees to users as the works take place. The use of temporary tees and greens, and reconfiguration of some of the remaining holes will ensure that the Council of National Golf Unions standards will be met for course length and par thereby ensuring continuous eligibility to host competitions and maintain handicaps.”

    Mr Harrison reported that a “significant proportion of the works are relatively small amendments to the previously approved schemes.”

    And he continued: “The construction of the nine-hole footgolf course on the former driving range will provide a new facility aimed at introducing young and older users alike into a relatively new recreational activity whilst complimenting the existing facilities.”


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