Latest Churston Golf Club plan 'should be refused'
THE latest Churston Golf Club plans should be turned down, Torbay planners say.
A revised application for a new £4.5million clubhouse is coming up before Torbay planners at a special meeting on Monday, March 11.
Officers have recommended refusal because of the 'considerable' visual impact on the landscape, increase in traffic and adverse effect on highway safety.
Other reasons for refusal include the impact on wildlife, especially protected cirl buntings and greater horseshoe bats.
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Officers also said the applicant had failed to satisfactorily demonstrate the terms of the S106 agreement can be satisfactorily delivered, especially when seeking consent from the landowner the Barony Estate.
Tim Lake, chairman of the golf club, said: "Obviously we are very disappointed and somewhat perplexed by some of the issues raised. We believe these problems which have been made clear to us can all be resolved.
"Once we address these issues, then the reasons for the negative recommendations should be lifted."
The revised application for the relocation of the clubhouse is the second from the club and developers Bloor Homes after a previous proposal to re-site it on the area of outstanding natural beauty was turned down by Torbay planners. The clubhouse has caused a rift in the community, with about 260 people writing in to oppose the plans and another 310 club users and residents supporting the scheme.
Churston farmer Richard Haddock (pictured) says he would have to put cattle to graze on a TB hotspot field for the plan to go ahead.
He is being asked to sign a Section 106 agreement to free up land for the first and 18th holes and build 90 new homes.
Mr Haddock said the 11.5acre field he would be forced to put to grazing in perpetuity is infected with cattle TB and would mean purposefully infecting his cows, then replacing them again and again while he receives tax payers' money in compensation from Defra.
Mr Haddock said: "We know it is a hotspot for badgers and TB. We've had Defra restrictions imposed as a result. If I had to put my cattle there they would become infected. It is cruel to animals and not the right farming practice. Defra would have to pay compensation for all animals culled.
"I'm not sure the public would be happy to know their taxes are used so I can put cattle on an infected field and have them replaced for ever and a day just so people can play golf and Bloor Homes can build new houses." In her report planning officer Helen Addison said: "The position in relation to this risk needs to be clarified."
Supporters said the scheme would secure the financial future of the golf club, increase the tourism offer in the area, would not have any impact on traffic flow and will not change the character of the area because the area in question has been part of the golf course since about 1923.