Bearing in mind The Champion exists by the largesse of advertising, much of it by West Lancashire Borough Council, this week it excels itself by discovering and reporting on the “Footgolf course plan for Beacon Park” . And, just to add value to its story, the first words in its article are “Serco Leisure”.
Now far be it for others to gloat on their knowledge of the landfill disaster that befell Beacon Park Golf Course when Serco Leisure Operating Ltd got its hands on the £1 a year lease, not to mention Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd. To remind The Champion, the “2011 permission included development of Phase 2 and involved the remodelling of existing golf range to provide perimeter mounding and improve targets with 35,000 m3 of inert soil” whereas now it is proposed to construct a ‘Foot Golf’ course.
But it has been common knowledge that the originally allowed “23,375 lorry loads for relevant landfill of “Phase 2 – Remodelling of existing golf range to provide perimeter mounding and improve targets with 35,000m3 of inert soil and Phase 3 – Formation of a 9 hole short course for junior golfers on 3.7 hectares of land located to the west of Beacon Lane and to the north of Elmers Green Lane to be formed by the importation of 65,000m3 of inert soil” have been exceeded and were in breach of planning permission. 40,000 cubic metres of landfill have to be removed off the old driving range.
But The Champion has taken the WLBC planning reports word for word, especially about concerns that the proposals MAY result in lengthy disruptions to course users with implications for competitive golf and handicaps. No word in the report that Seniors competitive golf HAS ended, because the course is NOT acceptable to the local league. They were expelled on 5 December 2018!
Is WLBC concerned about preserving and enhancing West Lancashire’s Natural Environment? Development required that “the loss of trees will only be permitted where the development is required to meet a need that could not be met elsewhere, and where the benefits of the development clearly outweigh the loss or damage. In such cases on this development site the developer will replace the trees lost on site with ones of at least equal value either on site or in that locality and the areas for new planting are set out on the landscaping plan submitted with the application”. Where is the official log of trees already lost?
Readers of The Champion should look at the picture shown in the article. That’s footgolf being shown on a flat course, as intended. Why didn’t The Champion take pictures yesterday? Beacon Park Golf Course footgolf facility is currently over 80 feet high and locked up because it is a safety hazard . Even after this new permission to reduce the height access to play on it will require lowering of the existing contours, creation of new foot/vehicular access, construction of steps and gates, installation of boundary fence. Where on this earth is footgolf played by staircase access to the course through gates?
Answer, Serco footgolf…condoned by WLBC…ignoring the massive loss of landfill royalties from landfill into private pockets. Beacon Park Golf Course needs a full journalistic investigation, not this extraction from planning documents by an advertising paper!