Astbury Hall: Plans backed to transform former KK Downing estate into luxury leisure resort

Work will swing into action next month on turning The Astbury Hall Estate into a high-end leisure resort, after plans were approved.

The estate near Quatford, south of Bridgnorth, is to become a “world class” leisure facility including a nine-hole golf course, 18-hole putting course and two swimming pools.

The proposals were approved despite objections from some, including the National Trust, which owns nearby Dudmaston.

Once completed it is expected to create 80 full time jobs and 80 part-time jobs.

How the holiday lodges would look under the plans

The development will also incorporate a spa and fitness complex, a bar and restaurant, a lido pool, tennis courts, a bowling green and alterations to the site’s existing 18-hole golf course. It will see 275 holiday let lodges built on the site, and a separate bar and restaurant to service them. Footpaths and cycleways will be installed including a footbridge and a bridge built for electric buggies crossing streams.

The total development will see 150 parking spaces on the estate.

Shropshire Council’s south planning committee made the decision at a meeting on Tuesday.

It comes as three major housing developments across the county are set to move a step closer, incorporating thousands of homes.

The council’s cabinet will next week be asked to approve putting forward sites at Tong, at the Ironbridge Power Station site and the Clive Barracks at Tern Hill for major development. Shropshire Council is asking the public about their preferred sites for major housing developments as part of its local plan, which will see 28,750 houses built in the county up until 2036.

Astbury Hall Estate – once owned by former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing – will now be turned into a leisure resort

Meanwhile, construction of the Astbury Hall Estate development should begin next month and will take about 14 to 15 months, the councillors heard from applicants FCFM Group Investments III Limited. The 85,142 square metre estate was owned by former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing, but was put up for sale in 2017 after four of his businesses went into administration.

Speakers were invited to address the councillors at the meeting and share their views. John King runs the Bull’s Head pub in Chelmarsh, and described it as an “extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.

But Eric Allison of the Shropshire branch of the Ramblers said the plans represented the “wholesale destruction” of a scenic countryside vista. Eardington Parish Council also objected, citing pressure on the area’s public services from an increase in tenants.

Steve Rickhards of Burke Rickhards Limited, the architect of the development, said the site would be “invisible” from the countryside thanks to sensitive design.

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