Two councils have launched formal objections against plans to bring a new lease of life to the latter end of the old Charnock Richard Golf Course.
Chorley Council and Charnock Richard Parish Council have both lodged objections to plans launched by the team behind The Laurels at Charnock – the restaurant and function room venue at the golf course.
The team are looking to add to its current nine-hole course by opening up the latter nine holes of the former 18-hole course – something that has been supported by a letter signed by 156 golfers who use the existing course.
READ MORE: Popular rural Chorley golf course is expanding back to a full 18 holes
But both councils have raised concern with the work occurring in the Green Belt, with Chorley Council’s Chief Planning Officer writing that there are “no very special circumstances” to “outweigh the harm” it may cause.
In a letter to Chorley and Lancashire County councillors, Carolyn Cross, Clerk to Charnock Richard Parish Council, raised concerns over “extremely disruptive” traffic along the A49 Preston Road due to an “increase” in the number of HGVs in the area – as well as the ground works having a “detrimental impact on nature conservation on the site”.
Green Belt concerns have also been raised, with Mrs Cross writing that the development will cause “long term harm”.
But site owner Stephen Storey claims the work is needed to keep the site from being "redundant".
“It’s a very minimal reconfiguration and the course is redundant without that,” he said.
“A reconfiguration qualifies in Green Belt for golf courses.
"If people look all over Great Britain they will see this, with large amounts of materials in the millions of cubic metres. This is minimal in comparison.”
Councillors sitting on Lancashire County Council's planning committee will have the final say on whether The Laurels can go ahead with the remodelling of the course.
The team is looking to bring 26,742.5 cubic square metres of materials to the site as part of the remodelling; something it says will take around one year to complete.
Documents submitted to Chorley Council by planning agents MacMarshalls say that it would involve, on average, ten, eight-wheeler wagons arriving on site each day for a period of 50 weeks.
A 14 tonne excavator is planned on being used to fill and re-contour the site.
The plans will be assessed against the government’s National Planning Policy Framework.
Notably it states that engineering operations, including remodelling, are appropriate development in the Green Belt provided that openness is preserved.
Councillors will assess this as part of the decision-making process.