Wiltshire Publications

Westbury Golf course extension plans re-submitted

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WHITEHorse Country Park hopes that its plans to extend the golf course to a full 18 hole course will finally be approved this year. 

Extending the golf course is just part of ambitious development plans for the park, which include a caravan and camping site, extended fishing lake and irrigation lake, and landscaping works. The park has already carried out extensive refurbishment on the club house with its bar and function room, and a golf driving range is due to open in April.

Plans for the 18 hole golf course include the importation of soil to landscape the course and make it more challenging and interesting for players, as well as protecting the course from the high water table.

Although Westbury Town Council offered no objections to the application when it was considered on Monday 18th March, it has made a number of conditions in its recommendation to Wiltshire Council.

In an effort to minimise disruption to local residents in Bitham Park, and to protect local land and a nearby bridleway, the town council has requested that site access should only be made via Coach Road and the A350.

The town council has also asked for a restriction on times of hauling materials, and that roads must be kept clean of any material from the site.

Frustration with planning system

Although the park remains determined to bring the new facilities to the town, it says it is frustrated by the time and cost it is taking for their plans to be approved by Wiltshire Council.

The park has re-submitted a planning application to extend its golf course after it was told the application had to be classified as a ‘waste operation’. Derek Hulin, who owns the park with business partner Shaun May, says he is frustrated by the bureaucracy he says he has encountered from Wiltshire Council.

Derek said, “You cannot believe how frustrating it is, and how annoyed I get. This was all set out four years ago when we bought the place – everything we’ve said we wanted to do, we’ve gone ahead on.

“We actually put in for planning for the golf course extention in June last year. The council kept saying they hadn’t got all the information, we got all the information to them, kept pushing for a decision, and they kept coming up with reasons.

“They [the council] are not thinking about companies expanding or employment for the area.

“We want an 18 hole golf course because the club can’t enter certain competitions at the moment, we’ve got to have 18 holes. Why shouldn’t Westbury have an 18 hole golf course?”

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said,  “Since the application was received last July, there has been a continuing dialogue with the applicant’s agent over the waste management operations associated with the proposed development and the information required for the application to be properly considered and determined. Following advice given on a number of occasions, the application has now been withdrawn and another has been re-submitted.”