THE OWNER of Newport Links Golf Course says that he has acted with the "utmost integrity" in the sale of properties at the golf club; no "windfall profit" has been made and money is being reinvested in the club.

The comments come from golf club owner and director, Chris Noot, following a report by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority's monitoring officer.

As reported in last week's Western Telegraph the officer's report, considered at the authority's meeting last Wednesday (see above), said that an "apparent breach" of a Section 106 agreement had resulted in "unexpected windfall profit" for the owner of the golf club.

However, in an interview with the Western Telegraph, Mr Noot insisted that the agreement was being honoured and only applied to three of the 13 golf club properties that were sold.

The 106 agreement was brokered between the authority and Mr Noot's solicitors in April 2013, following an application to sell flats 1,3 and 4 in the golf club's Dormy House.

Despite officer's recommendations to refuse the application, it was approved by the authority's development management committee in December 2012, with the condition that the original Section 106 agreement be amended, and the capital from the sale re-invested into the golf club.

The re-negotiated section 106 was signed off in April 2013.

More than six years later a planning officer noticed that Mr Noot's solicitor had removed the words "other than" from a clause in the agreement, this had not been listed in a covering e-mail detailing other modifications.

A report by the authority's monitoring officer stated that the removal of the two words "resulted in the ability of the landowner to dispose of ten of the properties without having to re-invest the monies in the golf course/club, as per the members' instructions".

"The circumstances of the execution of the document has awarded an unexpected windfall profit to the owner," the report stated.

Mr Noot maintains that the redrafted Section 106 Agreement applied only to the three apartments.

"There were no members' instructions relating to the ten bedrooms," he said. "This related solely to the three flats [in the Dormy House]."

Mr Noot said that in 2015 the possibility of selling the ten bedrooms, which were built in 2008, was investigated.

"We realised that there was no limitation with regard to the bedrooms," he said. "The re-investment did not apply."

Mr Noot maintains that the money raised from the sale of the three flats, which he says sold for around £700,000, is being reinvested in the golf club.

"In 2014 we hosted the Welsh Ladies Senior Championships," he said. "We reconfigured the course which cost between £30,000 and £40,000. Last year we spent £54,000 on new machinery."

He says there was no time period specified by the national park for the money to be re-invested and that the programme is ongoing.

He also says that there was no "windfall profit" from the sale of any of the properties.

"The monitoring officer did not know the development costs and did not know what the properties were sold for, after legal and estate agent fees," he said.

"All I can tell you, as a matter of fact, is that no tax has or will be paid [on the sale of the properties] so the term windfall profits is misleading and inaccurate."

He also said that he was not aware that the two words "other than" had been left out of the renegotiated Section 106 agreement or what the implication of that would be.

"I didn't know those two words were taken out," he said. "I don't know what those two words mean.

"All I know is that we acted with the utmost integrity. We have an excellent working relationship with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. As a golf club we are happy whenever we can to support fundraising events, we are most definitely community minded and are always willing to help when we can."