Golf clubhouse in Northumberland to be demolished to make way for 16 homes

Outline planning permission has been granted for 16 houses at Percy Wood Golf and Country Retreat in Swarland.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 4:00 pm

The application by Harrison Leisure UK was approved under delegated powers by the planning department at Northumberland County Council.

It is planning to demolish the existing golf club house and associated buildings and build houses in their place.

The application had met with concerns from Newton On The Moor and Swarland Parish Council about the safety of extra traffic using the A1 junction.

Percy Wood Golf and Country Park at Swarland

Four local residents also objected with concerns about access issues, drainage, potential loss of trees, noise and loss of privacy.

James Belis, senior planning officer, reported: ‘Although the parish council and nearby occupiers have objected with regards to the impact on highways matters, these are not considered to be 'severe' by highways development management.

‘Nearby occupiers have raised concerns in relation to amenity matters. Whilst these will be considered further as part of the reserved matters application it is considered that in principle it is possible to develop a scheme on which amenity impacts from the proposal would be below the level where this would be considered a reasonable reason for refusal.’

The clubhouse facilities will be incorporated into a reconfigured reception area with café and retail facilities off Leamington Lane which were approved last summer.

The existing 18-hole golf course would be unaffected.

A separate application seeking change of use permission to site up to 60 static caravans on the former driving range is still to be determined.

A planning statement with the application noted that the new plans are submitted in the context of difficult times for golf clubs, with memberships declining.

It continued: ‘In addition, holiday-makers and visitors to the park now demand a greater choice of leisure facilities, and Percy Wood’s current offer is dominated solely by a golf course.

‘Indeed, the wider park absorbs the loss-making golf club enterprise, which is in turn restricting levels of investment into Percy Wood generally.

‘These two trends represent the key drivers for developing and increasing investment in Percy Wood, with a particular need for a greater choice of leisure facilities in order to align the park with the demands of consumers in the modern holiday sector, along with the enhancement and diversification of the site’s caravan offer.’

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