Why are people objecting to the Hoylake Golf Resort plans?
Regular readers of this blog will know that this blog has covered Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s efforts to find land for a new fire station first in the centre of Greasby and now on the outskirts of Saughall Massie. However, a much larger threat to Wirral’s greenbelt has received little media attention so far.
The plans for a Hoylake Golf Resort cover an area of 357 acres in the greenbelt. Wirral Council own about 189 acres which they lease to farmers. Hoylake Municipal Golf Course occupies a further 106 acres (which is also owned by Wirral Council). The remaining ~63 acres are owned by private landowners. These landowners have signed agreements with Wirral Council to sell their land if planning permission is granted for the Hoylake Golf Resort.
Wirral Council’s Cabinet agreed to spend money to move forward plans for Hoylake Golf Resort back in 2013 at a cost of £178,823. In April 2014 Wirral Council’s Cabinet agreed to pay a further £113,189 so that the announcement could be made in time for the 2014 Open Championship.
However the Open Championship came to Wirral in 2014 and went with no announcement. Instead a year later in 2015 Wirral Council announced that the Nicklaus Joint Venture Group had been awarded preferred developer status.
Wirral Council ran a "consultation" that closed last month on the plans. Once a formal planning application is submitted people will have a further opportunity to state their views on the plans.
Commenting on the plans for a Hoylake Golf Resort local councillor Gerry Ellis stated, “As a concept, it’s a wonderful project that could bring much employment to the area and provide excellent new facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy. However, I see many problems ahead which are likely to slow down or even derail the development. Many objectors are already raising their concerns about loss of Green Belt, disturbances to wildlife, potential flooding problems and lots of other issues.
I’m keeping an open mind on it and waiting with interest to see the planning application and other detailed proposals of the developers which are due to be revealed within the next few months.”
Local people have set up a website to air concerns they have about the plans.
A planning application for Hoylake Golf Resort is expected towards the end of 2016.
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