Plans for 70 holiday lodges to boost income at golf club and hotel complex
PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 March 2019
At least 30 jobs could be created at a new holiday lodge development at a west Suffolk golf course, if planning permission is approved.
David Harris, of M&D Developments, has submitted an application to turn part of the course at All Saints Hotel & Golf Club in Fornham All Saints, near Bury St Edmunds, into 70 single-storey timber holiday lodges.
Since acquiring the business in 2015, Mr Harris, who also owns the Hengrave Hall wedding venue, said they had improved the complex “beyond all recognition”, adding “we need to generate further income to take it to the next stage”.
Some objections have been lodged from neighbours to the site, including over loss of views.
Read more: Suffolk hotel and golf resort submits extension plans
Mr Harris said if the plans for the holiday lodges are given the go-ahead it could create 30-40 jobs, for example in housekeeper and groundsman roles, and would be a “tremendous” boost for local tourism.
A design and access statement submitted with the planning application said it had not been possible to make the golf course itself financially viable, which they put down to competition from nearby golf clubs, but also the “expansive” layout of the All Saints course at 125 acres.
Mr Harris added: “I think this project very important to us on the basis that nationally golf is a sport that’s been dwindling.
“Over the last 10 years golf has dropped by 40% across the country and we looked at other ways [to generate income] and we felt that was the best solution.”
He said they had visited other courses, including Stoke by Nayland, that have holiday lodges that complement the golf course business.
All Saints golf coach Steve Hall has been pivotal in developing the plans for the resort that would allow them to be able to continue to offer an 18-hole course, Mr Harris said.
The plans would mean 40 holiday homes would be located in the north-west area of the golf course, while another 30 would be in the south-west area.
Some neighbours to the site, including in Pigeon Lane, have lodged objections over loss of views, increased noise and traffic and concerns over wildlife, but Mr Harris said they had considered all aspects “very carefully”.
He said existing trees and new planting should screen the lodges from neighbouring homes, a “substantial report” had focused on wildlife habitats and he did not believe there would be any adverse impact from increased traffic.
There will be new access from the A1101 Mildenhall Road and B1106 through the village of Fornham All Saints.
The design and access statement said accessibility would be improved for cyclists and pedestrians to Bury St Edmunds town centre.