£15m project to transform Allerton Manor Golf Club hit a snag in December when planners rejected hotel plans but the creation of a new 18-hole championship golf course is back on track. Tony McDonough reports
Golf and leisure company Green Circle is to push on with plans to transform the golf course at Allerton Manor despite suffering a setback on its hotel project.
In December Liverpool City Council rejected proposals for a 66-bed hotel above the current Grade II-listed manor house on the site. Councillors compared the design to Milton Keynes train station. Green Circle is appealing the decision.
Allerton was formerly a municipal golf course. The site is still owned by Liverpool City Council but is run by Green Circle. It struck a similar deal with the council to run a municipal course at Kirkby, now known as Kirkby Valley.
Now it has unveiled revised plans for the golf facilities at Allerton. These follow delays to the implementation of the original proposals approved in 2019 due to the COVID. pandemic.
One of the key changes proposed is the decision not to deliver the approved driving range at Allerton, with a two-tier driving range now being proposed within the submitted master plan for Kirkby Valley.
The new course lay-out also enables Green Circle to relocate the new Adventure Golf attraction adjacent to the practice putting green. This will enable the repositioning of the 18th green to a location in front of the new clubhouse and terrace area.
Green Circle golf manager, Sean Moore, said: “COVID gave us a chance to take a fresh look at the approved plans for Allerton, but also think through how best we synergise our plans for Allerton and our other course at Kirkby Valley.”
Andrew Craven from international golf architects, IDG, who has designed the new course lay-out at Allerton Manor, added: “By abandoning the driving range facility and structure, we have much more scope to improve the design for the revised 18-hole Championship Course at Allerton Manor.
“We can create a better and more interesting course, and we can also retain 400 mature trees which were approved for removal in the previous master plan.
“We are also introducing a lake alongside the access road in between the new first tee and 18th green, which will enrich the biodiversity of Allerton and make the most of its exceptional landscape setting.
“The brief from Green Circle was to design the best public pay and play golf course in the North West, and that’s exactly what we set out to achieve with the new design.”
A new clubhouse has also been redesigned by Liverpool architects, Brock Carmichael. It now uses local red sandstone rather than grey brick in the main elevations to better complement its landscape and heritage setting.
This new design still offers the same facilities including a golf shop, changing and showering areas and cafe, as well as a louvered roof over the terrace area overlooking the 18th green, which can be opened and closed depending on weather.
Lead architect, John Cassell, also said: “Our aim has been to design a building that fits more naturally into its setting.
“It’s a timber, red sandstone and glazed building that complements the existing buildings at Allerton Manor whilst providing a modern high quality clubhouse facility.”
The planning application also includes plans to enhance the popular Hay Loft function space with an extended terrace to the rear with a retractable roof, as well as access improvements.
Green Circle is hoping that the planning application will be determined by Liverpool City Council by March. It is promising that the new remodelled 18-hole course will be completed and open by May 2024, with the new clubhouse to be opened in spring 2025.