Golf club memberships to end if holiday park plans near Oswestry go through

A golf club near Oswestry could close to the public under plans to create a 90-cabin holiday park on the site.

Golf club could end its membership scheme
Golf club could end its membership scheme

Proposals currently being considered by Shropshire Council would see Henlle Park Golf Club, in Gobowen, reduced from 18 holes to nine - and members have now been told only guests staying in the new lodges will be able to use the remaining half of the course.

The move was revealed in new documents submitted to the council by the prospective park operator, Coppergreen Developments Ltd, and was confirmed to members in an email from club owner Ralph Tomley.

Mr Tomley also announced that from March onwards, in anticipation of work starting on the development in the coming months, the club will no longer offer memberships and will operate on a pay-as-you-play basis.

The planning application, which is still yet to be determined, was submitted for consideration in July last year, after an earlier scheme for 120 cabins was rejected.

It has sparked 182 objections as well as 29 letters of support, with concerns raised over the impact on nearby historic sites, as well as traffic and road safety.

In response to the highways concerns, an updated transport statement has been prepared on behalf of Coppergreen, stating the development will not cause additional traffic.

It says: “In association with the proposals and once the course is at nine holes, no additional traffic will be generated as the golf course will be for visitors/guests of the lodge only and not open as a general play only.”

Mr Tomley’s email to members on Tuesday said the planning process had taken longer than anticipated, but that he was “confident of a conclusion soon”.

He said: “After March 1, 2022, Henlle will be run in a different way. Membership will cease and the course run on a play and pay basis, this will allow current members and others to play whenever they wish, subject to availability, without having to pay a lump sum up front.

“It is intended to continue to run the course as a full 18 hole course until Coppergreen Ltd, who will be the new owners, begin the construction of the lodges in several months time, then the course will be reduced to nine or possibly 12 holes.

“The construction will take about 12 months, following that, about 18 months from now, Coppergreen Ltd may need to restrict play to only those residents of the holiday lodges to comply with planning.”

The club has been contacted for comment.

Refusing original plans last year, the council said the scheme would affect the character of the area and “have a significant detrimental impact” on the non-designated Henlle Hall Park, the Grade II-listed Henlle Hall and the setting of nearby sections of Offa’s Dyke which are scheduled monuments.

The applicants say the revised plans “overcome the reasons for refusal of the earlier scheme” and will create 50 jobs.

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