City golf club plan drives wedge in opinion
7:30pm Saturday 14th July 2012 in News
Proposals to develop St Davids City Golf Club, including creating an 18- hole course, have split opinion, with one family claiming the proposals would ‘completely change’ their lifestyle.
The owners of the club plan to realign the current nine-hole golf course, construct nine new holes, a new clubhouse including a restaurant, bar and studio apartment, as well as car parking.
Richard Syrett, who lives with his wife and children opposite the current course, said the new course would border his property on three sides if the plans went ahead.
He said he has collected buckets full of golf balls from their front garden. Plans to realign one existing hole would add to that problem, while some of the new holes would border his property to the rear.
“If you’ve got two young children, one ball is too many in your garden,” he said.
Mr Syrett added he was ‘very disappointed’ the developers had not contacted them, adding: “The plans seem to fly in the face of all the principles of the National Park.
“Concern is a strong word but it is not strong enough, we’re devastated by it all.”
A St Davids City Council spokesman said that 26 representations had been received regarding the application, 13 in support and 13 against.
Local businessman Gareth Thomas said he thought it would have a positive effect on the community, as it would increase tourism and create ‘much needed local jobs’.
He added: “I have personally seen first hand in other golf clubs the benefits this type of facility will bring to the community.”
Local ecologist and environmental consultant, Sarah Beynon, has written to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park detailing her concerns, mainly regarding the potential environmental impacts.
She said the area earmarked for the nine new holes was ‘biologically an important site’ while pesticides used on golf course greens created ‘the biodiversity value of a tarmac car park’.
She also questioned the decision to survey plants in the winter, when most plants would be ‘un-detectable’.
A Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority spokesman said the plans were currently scheduled to be heard at its development management committee.