Churston Golf Club club pushes ahead with plans after vote of confidence
CHURSTON Golf Club is forging ahead with its plans to build a new clubhouse after receiving a vote of confidence from its own members.
Despite talks of rebellion and mutiny within the club's ranks, managers at the club off Brixham Road believe they now have the necessary mandate from members to invest £4.5million in the new proposed facilities on its third tee.
A special meeting was called before the Christmas holidays where the club's management was given a vote of confidence. The club has filed a second planning application for a new clubhouse after its original application was turned down in August.
It believes the revised plans will better take into account the concerns of local residents, especially as the clubhouse would not be in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
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The club says it needs the new facility and revamped course before work can start on Bloor Homes' plans for 90 homes on the site of the first and 18th holes, along with a 42-bedroom extra care home and an area of public open space.
The housing development was approved in June.
Objectors to the original clubhouse said it would have harmed the nearby conservation area and would have generated additional traffic on the local highway network.
Opponents to the new scheme believe it will still cause major traffic congestion.
Already several letters of objections have been received by Torbay Council's planning department objecting to the latest scheme.
Kathy Talbot, from the Residents Against Golf Club Sell-Off group, is listed as the main objector to the plan when it comes before the planning committee on February 11.
In a long letter to the Herald Express, she claimed club members were in open rebellion against the plans and a special general meeting was organised at the request of members opposed to the scheme.
Mrs Talbot said: "Locals are deeply concerned over the dangers this additional traffic would present along the proposed Bridge and Bascombe country roads.
"Bascombe Road itself has no pavements, poor lighting, road width suitable for only one vehicle at many points and is already utilised as the only alternative to the A3022 Brixham Road by commuters, who often display speeding and impatience to pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles."
She claimed: "The local community is furious and profoundly disappointed the golf club will derive vast financial benefits to the detriment of local residents and loss of green amenity to everyone."
Of the rumoured 'mutiny' among some members, she said: "At first members, most of whom do not reside in the locality, voted to sell the first and 18th hole locations to Bloor Homes and re-site the golf club to the area of outstanding natural beauty drawn by monetary rewards with the understanding Bloor would finance and build the new clubhouse and pay off the golf club's commercial loan."
She claimed: "Since this AONB planning application was refused, the club board has quietly pushed through a new proposal without re-consulting members on the new clubhouse plan."
But club chairman Tim Lake quashed all rumours of a mutiny, saying: "There is no rebellion or mutiny.
"At an extraordinary general meeting, the members voted by an overwhelming majority in favour of the recommendations of their board of directors.
"This gives us continued confidence to carry on the road in pursuit of our goals to obtain a brand new club house, new golf holes and reconfigured course, new and better practice facilities and the clearing of our debts."