A disused golf course could come back to life as a new leisure attraction based around the game.
A planning application to Hart District Council proposes a remodelling of the vacant Oak Park Golf Club in Crondall, Hampshire, along with demolition of existing buildings and a driving range, for a new 12-hole golf course with eco-lodges, new driving range, putting course, racquet area, education building and club house, along with parking and landscaping.
Applicant 360 Oak Ltd, bought the empty 77-hectare site last year and plans to reconfigure the existing 18-hole course on the southern section of the site to a 12-hole one, drawn up by golf course designers Mackenzie and Ebert, to attract a new market of participants.
In a letter supporting the application, Adam Gostling, director of HGH Consulting which planned the scheme, said: “As experts in golf course administration, 360 recognises that the primary barriers to participation are the time required to play a round of golf and the perception of ‘exclusivity’ surrounding the game.”
He said the game had been falling in popularity since 2017 but proved popular during Covid, since it could be played throughout.
The site’s southern section will also have a new ‘starters building’ which will incorporate a golf shop, storage and toilets.
Eco-lodges, walkways, a putting course, a short game practice area and a driving range will be created on the northern section.
The hybrid application seeks only outline permission for the eco-lodges so they can be designed to suit the wider landscape.
The existing clubhouse will be refurbished and extended while an existing cabana will be demolished and a new larger structure built in its place.
A cottage to the east of Gazings Farm will be retained while other agricultural buildings will be demolished and three new barn style buildings constructed for courts for pickleball, a growing racquet sport which has similarities to tennis and badminton.
The application can be viewed at: https://publicaccess.hart.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=RX9W2LHZ0GB00
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