Developer makes fresh bid to build homes on golf course

Developer Anwyl Homes had an initial bid to bid 249 homes on a Liverpool city region golf club and create a new 9-hole course rejected by planners and is now submitting a revised plan. Tony McDonough reports

Widnes Golf Club
Image of plans for new homes by developer Anwyl in Widnes

 

Developer Anwyl Homes has submitted a fresh application to build more than 230 homes on part of a golf course in Liverpool city region after its first bid was defeated by locals.

In March, Halton Council rejected a plan by Anwyl to acquire half of the current 18-hole course from Widnes Golf Club and build 249 new homes. As part of the deal the company would then build a new nine-hole course and clubhouse.

However, the bid was rejected by the council following a campaign led by Cllr Andrea Wall and a petition signed by more than 2,000 people. Planners said the scheme would see the loss of too much green space.

However, the golf club says the deal is vital for its future as a declining membership had left it facing financial issues. Anwyl is appealing the original decision but has now put forward an amended plan in order to win over local people.

The new plan would see a reduction in proposed new homes from 249 units to 233 units while maintaining the full policy requirement of affordable dwellings. There is also a commitment to more green space.

John Grime, managing director, Anwyl Homes Lancashire, said: “We’ve listened to objections from local people, Halton Council and statutory consultees and incorporated a number of changes which we think address their concerns.

“The new application takes their feedback on board and, hopefully, provides a way to revive the fortunes of a golf club that has seen its membership dwindle over the last 10 years.

“We are still preparing to lodge a planning appeal based on the original refusal but hope this fresh application will render an appeal hearing unnecessary.”

Other changes include: 

  • A wide green corridor to accommodate mature trees which have been subject to recent Tree Preservation Orders.
  • More trees planted within the retained golf course.
  • Changes to the proposed access, including removal of a small cul-de-sac access and all main access now taken from two priority junctions off Liverpool Road.
  • Improved footpath/ cycle links through the site.
  • Enhancements to the redeveloped golf course and proposed new club house details, to show Widnes Golf Club’s commitment to improved club facilities, both at Widnes and the Blundells Hill club, which they would take ownership of as part of the deal.
  • Further detailed flood modelling and mitigation has been provided.

Widnes Golf Club would invest in the 18-hole Blundells Hill Golf Club in nearby Rainhill and make improvements to those facilities. The combined membership would have the potential to play at both courses and the plans would ensure the future of those locations.

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