Major overhaul on the cards at leisure resort

Percy Wood Country Park

Percy Wood Country Park

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Two linked applications which will revamp a leisure resort in Northumberland have been submitted to the county council.

The two schemes – one for new housing and the other for more caravans and a change to the golf course – relate to Percy Wood Golf and Country Retreat, in Swarland.

A full application has been lodged for the development of up to 216 new holiday caravans, a centrally-located leisure hub and a reconfigured golf course to include a relocated clubhouse, while an outline bid for up to 16 homes on the current clubhouse site has also been submitted.

A supporting statement explains that Percy Wood is currently dominated by the 18-hole golf course, while its clubhouse, which is in an isolated location, provides the only bar and food services on the park.

Increased demand for short-term holidays and the growing ‘staycation’ market, alongside decreasing revenue from golf membership fees as the sport’s popularity fades, have led to these proposals.

They would see the golf course reduced from 18 to 12 holes, with the vacated land used for up to 216 new holiday caravans and a leisure hub.

This facility would provide a range of visitor facilities, including a restaurant, shop, gym and pool, and would be sited in a central location.

It is estimated that around 200 extra caravans could be expected to generate 153,300 overnight visits a year, leading to £8.2million of gross visitor expenditure each year, excluding accommodation fees and transport to the destination.

The proposals would also result in almost 38 additional full-time-equivalent jobs on site.

The brownfield site currently occupied by the golf clubhouse and car park would be redeveloped for ‘a small-scale, quality residential development of up to 16 units’.

The proposed mix comprises two two-bedroom homes, six three-bedroom properties, six four-bedroom houses and two five-bedroom dwellings.

Percy Wood Leisure Ltd is part of Shorewood Leisure Group Ltd, a family-owned company founded by David Allison in 1989.