‘The Laurels at Charnock’ was granted planning permission back in January 2020 to redesign nine of its currently disused holes in order to develop a more undulating course and give golfers a tougher test of their skills.
Lancashire County Council’s development control committee approved the proposal, which involved bringing almost 27,000 cubic metres of inert waste onto the site to create 19 “mounds”, two greens and three new bunkers.
However, the authority stipulated that the reprofiling – and associated restoration work – at the Preston Road site must be completed within 12 months of it teeing off.
The overhaul finally began last March and so must be finished in less than three weeks.
Committee members have now agreed to extend the timeframe for the revamp after being told that bad weather and a scarcity of the necessary materials were the cause of the delay.
They also heard that none of the mounds – which will be between 30 metres and 80 metres long and up to three metres high – has yet been completed, while only around half of the material needed has been brought onto the site so far.
However, members were told that in spite of the requested year-long extension of the permission it was “likely that the majority of the further operations to import materials and restore the mound areas would be completed in summer 2022”.
Planning officer Jonathan Haine said there was “no reason to doubt that the site would…be restored to a high standard given the applicant’s wish to bring [it] back into active use as quickly as possible”.
However, three objections were lodged to the continuation of the work, including a claim that it had actually begun in autumn 2020 and that there had been “no noticeable break in development” since then, with “wagon deliveries and excavator working…evident in all weather conditions”.
The applicant did not address the committee.
The Charnock Richard Golf Course was an 18-hole facility when it opened in 1994 until closing in 2013, but the northern section was reintroduced as a nine-hole course in 2018. The southern part is the focus of the current work.