Posted by: westlancashirerecord | January 11, 2019

Beacon Park Golf Course Decisions Extend Course Disruption

The 5 years of disruption for the financial benefit of private developers Serco Leisure Operating Ltd and Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd at the expense of council tax have been extended by planning permissions granted by the WLBC Planning Committee last night.

2018/1158/FUL-Beacon Park Golf Centre Beacon Lane Dalton Wigan Lancashire WN8 7RU
Variation of Condition No. 1 of planning permission 2016/0040/FUL to vary the location, site and cross section plans submitted with the original application to regularise the as built land levels, landscaping and development layout of the nine hole short course . Replacement of plan reference 1115.11 received by the Local Planning Authority on 13th July 2011 with plan references 1115.11 Rev B and 1115.21. Replacement of plan reference 1115.15 received by the Local Planning Authority on 13th July 2011 with plan reference 1115.X6 cross sections. Approval of new plan reference 1115.27 Par 3 Landscaping. All other plans to remain as per the decision notice. Approved with conditions.

2018/1164/FUL-Beacon Park Golf Centre Beacon Lane Dalton Wigan Lancashire WN8 7RU
Remodeling of driving range  at Beacon Park Golf Centre to create a Foot Golf course, remodeling of 1st hole green, 2nd hole tees, creation of mounding and re-profiling of ground adjacent to 1st fairway, remodeling of ground between 1st and 18th holes and associated landscaping. Approved with conditions.

Below is a letter from Serco, in which they describe the commitments required to correct the appalling state the new 9hole heap and the so-called footgolf areas are in. Had the original developments been undertaken by professional golf course creators instead of cowboy companies none of what follows would be necessary. 

Letter from Serco Business

I can confirm that Serco’s commitment to maintain a viable and playable golf course at Beacon Park remains unchanged. Firstly, I would like to reiterate a number of commitments we have made regarding the golf course at Beacon Park, we will:

• proactively manage the contractors working on site
• maintain, throughout the works period, a viable 18 hole golf course
• work (weather permitting) as quickly as possible with the minimum of disruption
• fence the entire work area and shroud the fencing with appropriate material
• maintain sufficient car parking spaces
• control all vehicle movement outside of the construction fence using manned gates
• minimise road and community disruption
• lay track way to protect the 1st Fairway
• introduce additional drainage to the 1st
• allow sufficient growing time and top soil to enable and promote growth
• create a first green to a recognised specification
• create a fit for purpose foot golf offering
• complete, and thereafter, manage the landscape in accordance with a professional plan
• keep all stake holders informed of progress.

Additionally, we agreed that the course would be re-measured by Congu and a new stroke index applied due to the change in layout during the proposed works program. This was discussed with the Senior’s Captain and we have already approached Congu to book the appropriate re­- measuring of the course. We will liaise with the golf club in order to apply a new stroke index.
Once this is confirmed, we will reprint the scorecards, thus enabling the members to maintain their handicap.

As to the statement regarding the course being “short by 500 yards of the required distance”, there is no such required distance. As long as the course is measured and a stroke index applied, the course remains viable.

We have done all we can to ensure our Senior Golfers team could continue competing in the South West Lancashire Seniors League, but the final decision on that issue was always going to come from the league. We offered to present at the league meeting, however the Senior Golfers team declined this offer.

Furthermore, at the recent meeting with the Senior Golfers Team Captain, a number of positive initiatives were discussed including a member “artisan” system, where members would assist the greens team on certain aspects of the course. There would also be a future combined promotion to attract past members back to the club in addition to the very strong 50% off membership offer. In addition to this, a number of the clubs in the league have agreed to play both home and away “friendly” matches with the Seniors. However, not all clubs have agreed to this.

Finally the “residual state of the course” is in fact regarded as being good, as can be seen from the comment below from England Golf after a recent visit here.

“As for my feedback when playing a few holes, I enjoyed the course and think it is in good condition. The holes I played offer variety and will appeal to all level of golfer. The fairways and greens are well maintained and not as wet as one would expect at this time of year.”

I trust this answers your queries, but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

West Lancashire Community Leisure Ltd. No.5316277. Serco Public Registered Charity No 1168175

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