Golf club's plans go with a swing
10:40am Sunday 13th January 2013 in News
Newport Golf Club’s plans to reinvest hundreds of thousands of pounds in the course and facilities have moved a step closer, after national park planners voted in favour of them for the second time.
The club had asked for a modification of a section 106 agreement to remove the occupancy restrictions on three flats adjoining the course to allow them to be sold.
That would raise funds as the club prepares to host the Wales Ladies Senior Open in 2014.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority members had voted to approve the application on November 21st, but as officers had recommended the application for refusal, it was subject to the authority’s ‘cooling off procedure’.
Members had argued that as this was an existing development, it would have no negative impact to the special qualities of the national park and would also promote the social and economic well being of the area.
At the December meeting, the authority’s head of development management, Vicki Hirst, reiterated that the modification to the section 106 agreement was not justified and was “directly contrary” to the policies in the local development plan.
Allan Archer said the release of the flats would be “tantamount to allowing accommodation in the countryside” and would be “something this authority would not permit”.
He added: “I’m worried about the precedent it might set, I hope I’m wrong.”
Cllr Michael Williams agreed, saying it was “completely against policy” and should be refused.
Cllr Bob Kilmister said: “I do not see what precedent we could be setting other than promoting the economic and social well being of the area. To refuse this would send all the wrong messages.”
The application was approved by a vote of eight to five.
The club will now work with the national park to draw up a new agreement and produce an improvement plan to outline how the funds raised by the release of the flats will be reinvested.