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Revised plans submitted for new clubhouse on Churston Golf Club's third fairway

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 02, 2013

By OLIVIER VERGNAULT

PLAn:   The proposed third tee clubhouse at Churston Golf Club   Bloor Homes

The proposed third tee clubhouse at Churston Golf Club Bloor Homes

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CHURSTON Golf Club has re-submitted revised plans for a new clubhouse on its third fairway.

The club is hoping to build a new £4.5million state-of-the-art facility on its land away from where the current clubhouse stands so it can make way for a Bloor Homes housing scheme.

A second planning application had been due to be debated by Torbay Council's planning committee on February 11.

But club bosses decided to withdraw it and file a new application — the third for the project — after meetings with the Torbay design review panel.

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Club chairman Tim Lake said: "The design team presented the scheme to the panel.

"Following their feedback and a subsequent meeting with the planning department, the design has evolved from the design development section to the one contained within the final design proposals."

Changes include a redesigned junction on Bascombe Road which has been a bone of contention with local residents.

The proposal would see the construction of a clubhouse, coach facility, buggy store, car park, vehicular access and works to Bridge Road and Bascombe Road.

The application is now expected to be determined in March.

Meanwhile, Brixham Town Council has given a thumbs down to the new plans.

Members agreed with opponents that the work would have a serious impact on the environment, would cause huge traffic chaos in an already congested area, and would be visually detrimental to residents.

Carole Box, chairman of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England Torbay branch, told the meeting that the clubhouse goes against local, regional and national policy, would be incompatible with the rural nature of Churston village and would have an adverse impact on tourism and local residents.

She said: "The views across Torbay are a mixture of rural and marine vistas and this proposal would damage the area."

Geoff Melbourne, from the Residents Against Golf Club Sell-Off group, said the club had tried and failed six times since the late 1970s to move its clubhouse.

Brixham resident Diane Studley said the extra volume of cars using the road to access the clubhouse would make the local road network 'hazardous'.

Cllr Martyn Hodge said the scheme would see the only road in and out of Brixham hampered by yet more traffic lights.

Fellow councillor Paul Addison, who chaired the meeting because chairman Brian Harland is a member of the golf club and declared a prejudicial interest, said: "Traffic is horrendous as it is. But it will get worse."

Cllr Chris Lomas said most golf courses have been built on agricultural land and are therefore accessible by narrow lanes.

He said: "I don't think it will add any more traffic. It will in fact lighten up the load on Dartmouth Road.

"Why is it that every time someone wants to build anything, rare newts and bats suddenly appear out of nowhere?

"The real reason RAGS are opposed to the scheme is that they think the new houses would devalue their own properties.

"If the clubhouse doesn't happen then the houses cannot be built."

Cllr Lomas proposed that the scheme be approved conditionally but could not find any seconder.

The council voted five to one to turn down the planning application. Cllr Mike Morey did not take part in the debate as he is a member of the Torbay planning committee.

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