Update: Decision delayed amid concerns about the new 500m access road connecting the venue to the A26.
Councillors on the planning committee were also bothered about the loss of public use of the golf course. The deferral will allow time for the applicant and planning officers to consider alternative access routes onto the A26 to be assessed. You can watch the webcast of the meeting here:
Next week District Councillors will consider a planning application to build a conference and event centre at Boars Head Golf Club.
There will be a managers flat within the proposed new events building. The design of the events building will be based on traditional barn. The development includes the removal of the existing flood lit driving range facility and the golf course will be re-landscaped.
The site, adjacent to the A26, is situated within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. However the High Weald AONB Unit have been consulted and have not raised any objections. The development proposes a new access on to the A26 with some new internal tracks. Sixty four additional parking spaces are proposed on top of the existing 50. As the development is inside the 7km zone from the Ashdown Forest Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area measures will be required to mitigate against additional traffic that might cause degradation of air quality.
The club have argued the “pay and play” model is no longer a viable enterprise. The 9-hole golf course was previously marketing with a guide price £850,000. If the proposal gets the green light, public use of the golf course would cease and in future the golf facilities will be for private hire use only, in conjunction with bookings at the venue.
The report going to the Planning Committee explains that the applicants intend to use the facility the same way they operate their events facility in Surrey at Millbridge Court, which provides corporate functions, weddings and private parties.
Officers are recommending Councillors grant planning permission at the meeting on 7th March.
Click to view and comment on the application: planning.wealden.gov.uk.