Optimism In Skelmersdale, Just Don’t Mention Beacon Park Golf Course

As the new dawn for Skelmersdale rose

on Rosie Cooper and WLBC Councillors [above] with building work beginning on the long-awaited town centre redevelopment, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said “I’m delighted that today marks the start of work on Phase One of Skelmersdale Town Centre which will bring new retail opportunities for the town. The new town centre will give a boost to the plans for a Skelmersdale Railway Station and encourage investment in the Concourse.

The Council now needs to press on with developing a ‘night-time’ economy for Skelmersdale including family restaurants and leisure facilities. It will also enable Skelmersdale shops and businesses to benefit from the ninety percent of Skelmersdale ‘spend’, which is actually spent outside of the town.

“I’ve always said Skelmersdale residents will remain sceptical until they see diggers on site, well they will soon be here working behind the hoardings which will be erected over the next few weeks”.

While construction work is taking place on phase one, and plans will also start to be developed for future phases, the people of Skelmersdale and the Borough as a whole will be consulted on these in due course. The town centre redevelopment scheme is a partnership between the Borough Council, Homes England and developer St Modwen, and supported by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership, [seen digging holes].

And what about the scepticism over the Beacon Park Golf Course?

Talking of digging holes, sceptics will look at another Skelmersdale partnership development project, the failed and disastrous Beacon Park Golf Course landfill scheme which is quite simply a scandal emanating from within the borough. Show us the destination of all money, show us the total landfill income and distribution, show us the VAT paid, we have asked time and again. All we have is “Serco admits to receiving a mere £183,864” as related by Rupert Soames the Chief Executive at Serco Group Plc.

While Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council and portfolio holder for Regeneration said “This is a special day for the people of Skelmersdale as building work begins to make our new town centre a reality. Over the coming months the town centre development will take shape and we can all look forward to the day when we start shopping in these stores and our children are enjoying the play area”, nobody was looking forward too far!

“I want to thank everyone at West Lancashire Borough Council, St Modwen, Homes England and all our other partners who have helped make this happen. The scheme proves how ambitious the Council is for the economy of Skelmersdale and West Lancashire as a whole”.

Alex Jaques, St Modwen Development Director, said “St. Modwen is proud to be involved in this scheme to develop Skelmersdale town centre and we are delighted that construction work has begun on site”. The new scheme is expected to be completed late spring 2021″. We hope!

Does anyone remember when Beacon Park Golf Course was perfect?

“This

is the fabulous Donald Steel designed course located in the picturesque Lancashire countryside. The first round was played at Beacon Park Golf & Country Club in the summer of 1982 when the course was opened by Sir Michael Bonallack and renowned designer Steel himself.

“Over the last 25 years the course has achieved a degree of maturity with excellent greens and striped, tree-lined fairways. Offering quality golf at a good price, Beacon Park is the perfect venue for societies and groups. You get a friendly welcome from the pro shop and the wide fairways are equally welcoming.

“The undulating course is not overly taxing to walk, although the last six holes are harder work, and it boasts good quality-greens and magnificent views of Skelmersdale, especially the back nine.

“There are a few blind tee shots but otherwise it’s all out in front of you and is usually found in excellent condition despite inclement weather. In addition to the course, there is a 20-bay floodlit driving range and a clubhouse and Brasserie Restaurant facility the quality of which raises many an eyebrow. Leather furniture ambient decor and superb cuisine complete the package”. But no longer!

West Lancashire Borough Council Draft Leisure Strategy 2015 – 2025

Golf. There are five golf clubs in West Lancashire; with the exception of Beacon Park they are all privately owned. Sport England recommends a 20 minutes drive time catchment for golf courses, on this basis the current supply in West Lancashire is sufficient for residents. The Borough is also bordered by several top class courses. West Lancashire Community Leisure has recently closed its driving range at Beacon Park due to a lack of demand/income but has plans to develop the leisure offer at the site and these include a new 9 hole par 3 course and junior facilities.

The golf course at Beacon Park is available for members and non members offering pay and play rates, together with competitions and club tournament events. The Course is to a Donald Steel layout and provides good competition play with enough character and features for a variety of playing ability. The inclusion of a new 9 hole par 3 course will provide additional facilities for both senior and junior development of the game”. It’s a shambolic part of what became  as Serco was served with a Breach of Condition Notice over”unapproved depositing of infill material”. 

Go today, and wallow in mud, glorious mud, and somewhere you might eventually find somewhere to play golf. 

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