Plans submitted to revamp popular golf course and build practice academy
- Credit: Weller Designs
A new practice academy and 'Golf Pod' could be on the cards for Brett Vale Golf Club in Raydon, after plans were submitted to revamp the site.
The plans to "re-model" and "re-landscape" the eastern half of the golf course in Noaks Road, Raydon, were submitted to Babergh District Council to help the club "retain members, attract a wider variety of players and provide a more sustainable irrigation system".
However, there have been objections from residents of Raydon and Holton St Mary, who argue that the number of lorries associated with the project would disrupt the local villages.
Chris Waters, owner of the golf club, submitted the plans to help assure the club's long-term viability so that it can continue to be an important leisure destination, as well as provide long-term employment opportunities off the back of Covid-19.
The proposals include building a new dedicated warm up area featuring a chipping green, putting green and practice bunkers, along with a new golf practice academy which would consist of three practice greens and bunkers together with a 'Golf Pod’, which is an enclosed netted space for the practice of longer shots.
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In addition, the creation of a new water storage pond would enable the club to be self-sufficient in the supply of water for irrigation purposes and will allow it to keep the course in good condition throughout the summer.
"I only want to make the golf club better, and to improve it, as it's my life," said Mr Waters.
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"I feel like this is our way to make the business work again and to help put some money back into it. This would help us do the clubhouse up and to get better practice facilities for the kids and the schools, so they can all come and learn here. It would help us get better teachers and pros here too, to make it something special.
"The course would be spectacular. We want to put a reservoir lagoon in to harvest our own water, so we have a new irrigation system to keep the course in good condition through the summer. I am trying to save my business, to save my people's jobs and create more jobs for the community. The disruption would be for 24 months, it's not forever."
The plans have faced some criticism from residents and the parish council, who are concerned about the number of tipper lorries which will be coming through the village to import the soils needed during the redevelopment of the site.
The application states that the duration of the project will take approximately 24 months to complete, assuming 79 lorry deliveries a day.
Suffolk Highways said the proposal will not generate additional traffic once the re-modelling and re-landscaping of the golf course is complete, but has concerns regarding the construction traffic for the site. They recommended that the proposal is refused unless these concerns can be addressed.
A spokesman for Raydon Parish Council said: "Raydon Parish Council met last night to discuss the planning application from Brett Vale Golf Club.
"Some concerns raised included increased traffic, noise levels and the economic impact. However, before making its formal response, members have requested further information and clarification on some points."
The plans will now be reviewed by council officers before they are approved or rejected.