GOLF course bosses say the future of their business could be uncertain after councilors rejected their proposals to build holiday lodges.
Noak Hill Golf Course has submitted an application to build seven lodges on green belt land – providing holiday accommodation for 11 months a year – as well as two new spa treatment rooms in its clubhouse to the council of Basildon.
The council’s planning committee voted unanimously to reject the proposals, despite pleas from the owners of the nine-hole Noak Hill Road golf course for them to help keep their business open.
“We are a family business and are proud of what we have achieved with our little oasis,” said owner Linda Mcdowell.
“We need to protect the course’s longevity and future with continued financial support.
“It’s not unusual at golf courses across the country because we can’t survive on golf alone, especially in the winter months.
“The spa we want to open will make it a year-round recreation center, but that can’t be funded without the lodges.
“We don’t have the funds to move forward, especially in these troubled times for business, so we’re doing our best to find a solution without harming the green spaces we love so much.”
Committee chair Councilor Carole Morris said she ‘understands’ Ms Mcdowell’s position, but added: ‘Unfortunately the financial considerations are not seen as very special circumstances for the whole of the requirement to build on green belt land.
Burstead Ward Councilor Richard Moore opposed the plans, saying they would have a ‘detrimental impact’ on the environment.
“The seven lodges are an inappropriate development,” he said.
“The app is clearly harmful to the green belt. It is clear that the introduction of seven pavilions would have a significant tangible aspect to the appearance of the region.
“I understand that lodges fall under the legal definition of caravan… the site would therefore be classed as a caravan site. Residents are absolutely against a caravan or lodge site at the bottom of their gardens.
The council had rejected a similar project on the course in February.