Homes, cafe and clubhouse go-ahead for golf complex revamp
PUBLISHED: 14:12 01 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:12 01 June 2020
Golfers will soon enjoy state-of-the-art facilities after a £6million project to demolish a century-old clubhouse and replace it with new premises and activities for players and public was given the go-ahead.
Construction of five new detached homes close to Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club will pay for the scheme – which has been approved despite being against policy because of the public benefits it will provide.
Planning chiefs said the inclusion of of a public putting green, public toilets, a public cafe and viewing platform over the AONB justified deviating from policy preventing development on the site.
East Suffolk Council – which approved the project – will also sell part of its Clifflands car park to the golf club.
The council received 75 letters about the scheme – including 41 in support and 33 objections.
Case officer Rachel Smith said surveys of the clubhouse had shown it to be in a “poor state” of repair and needed a considerable amount spent on ongoing maintenance – to do nothing was not economically viable.
Repairing and refurbishing the existing building would cost £1.1 million and would not guarantee the future of the club.
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Although at a much greater cost, creating a specifically designed clubhouse with all the improvements needed would provide “the best option for future income streams” due to the purpose -uilt function room enjoying coastal and estuary views with more and bigger functions, dining and bar options.
In addition to the new clubhouse and pro shop, the complex would also include six en-suite hotel-style bedrooms for visiting golfers and other guests.
Ms Smith said: “It would provide a high quality, contemporary and innovative design which has been landscape led in response to the high sensitivity of the AONB/Heritage Coast landscape in which it is being proposed.
“The scheme will deliver a number of positive benefits, including an exceptional and unique enhanced leisure facility for Felixstowe, improved public facilities for visitors including a café, public toilets, viewing platform and putting green as well as landscape and biodiversity enhancements.”
The club, founded in 1880, has two courses – an 18-hole championship links course and a nine-hole course.
Past members include former prime minister AJ Balfour and former open champion Willie Fernie.
In documents submitted to the council, architects Wincer Kievenaar said: “The club’s aim is to provide a functional, attractive and efficient clubhouse and facilities fit for the 21st century.
“The current clubhouse is an original farmhouse building, compromised through generations of alterations which does not best serve the needs of its members, or attract new players into the sport.
“The redevelopment seeks to safeguard the club’s medium/long term future now that the current facilities are no longer fit for purpose and at the end of their useful life.”
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