Holiday chalet plan for golf centre set to be vetoed

The application will be heard at Lancaster Town Hall.
The application will be heard at Lancaster Town Hall.

Plans to turn a golf driving range in Lancaster into a site for holiday chalets are set to be rejected by city councillors next week.

Members of the council’s planning committee are due to discuss the scheme at Ashton Golf Centre when they meet at Lancaster Town Hall on Monday August 22.

But planners have recommended the proposals are refused, saying the owners have failed to demonstrate that the current use is no longer viable.

The development consists of the siting of 14 timber holiday chalets on the current Ashton Golf Centre driving range in Ashton Road.

The scheme proposes three types of single storey units which vary in size.

Lancaster Golf Club – located less than 500m away – has recently developed its own driving range and this has had a detrimental effect on the existing facility, the applicants say.

And they say the use of the main nine-hole golf course at Ashton Golf Centre would not be affected by the proposed development.

Six letters have been sent to the council objecting to the plans.

Residents have raised concerns about the ownership of the site (which is not a planning consideration), as well as concerns about the location, road safety and the need for such a scheme.

The proposed development is close to a Grade I listed building, Ashton Hall, which is a 14th century mansion now owned by Lancaster Golf Club.

But given the screening between the listed building and the proposed development site, it is not considered that the setting would be unduly harmed by the scheme.

Concern has also been raised regarding the sustainability of the scheme.

However, the Ashton Golf Centre has a small clubhouse serving food and drink, and the nearby garden centre provides a similar service.

Overall it is considered that such a use could be complementary to the offer already present and assist with maintaining rural businesses.

However, planning officers have advised councillors that the proposal contains insufficient information about the loss of recreational open space, drainage, trees and access to the site.

The applicants have also “failed to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the local planning authority that the golf driving range no longer has an economic, recreational and community value.”

They have therefore recommended councillors refuse the application.