Leeds Golf Centre reveals plans to create 35 holiday cottages and 'holiday pods' at Wike Ridge Lane Shadwell

Plans to build 35 holiday cottages near a golf course in North Leeds look likely to be rejected by a group of planning chiefs next week.

By richard.beecham richard.beecham
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 4:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 1:21 pm

The owners of Leeds Golf Centre want to add a new clubhouse, along with dozens of holiday pods and revamped golf courses to its site off Wike Ridge Lane in Shadwell.

But a report by Leeds City Council officers recommends decision-makers reject the plans, as they would "constitute inappropriate development in the green belt" while the size of the development would not respect the "character of the countryside".

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The current clubhouse at Leeds Golf Centre.

The council officers' report added: "The units are a mixture of four bed and two bed lodges which are all single storey in height. Twenty five of the lodges are orientated around a purpose-built central lake, whereas the remaining lodges are centred around the former quarry / beck to the south.

"The lodges are constructed of timber with stone detailing and incorporate green roofs, an outside terrace and a golf buggy store. The use of lodges will not be restricted just to users of the golf course, but the applicant states that the lodges will most likely be utilised by golfers."

The report also disclosed a letter from the Park Lane Group, which owns Leeds Golf Centre, which stated the challenges of the pandemic had put the company's finances under "serious strain and pressure". It added that other areas of the business had been having to plug losses made by the golf club.

It stated: "With businesses in the student accommodation and leisure sectors respectively, the group is constantly reviewing all its operational commitments.

"These losses have been articulated in the viability submission provided this summer. In summary, LGC needs to become independent and financially viable through the proposed development. If this is not the case, the club cannot rely on its financial subsidy from the wider group, which in itself is now not sustainable."

Planning documents submitted on behalf of Leeds Golf Centre outlined a mission statement which read: "Create a regionally important golfing centre of excellence which would provide top class facilities to rival any modern golf centre in the Yorkshire Region whilst maintaining its core values of providing high quality affordable golf provision to existing members.

The improved facilities will not only benefit existing members but will also attract tourism and provide employment opportunities to benefit the local community. The centre will continue to be an integral part of the local community by maintaining its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere to all levels of golfers and will continue its strong support of local initiatives.”

But the paper from council officers concluded: "The proposal would constitute inappropriate development within the Green Belt whilst also leading to a substantial loss of openness and, failing to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment and harm to the Special Landscape Area.

"Whilst the proposal would have some notable benefits in terms of the economy, tourism and community participation it is considered that no very special circumstances have been evidenced that are considered sufficient to clearly outweigh the significant harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness and the other harm identified.

"Furthermore, the proposal is not considered to represent sustainable rural tourism or leisure development which respects the character of the countryside. As such, the application is not recommended to Members for approval."

Members of the council's North and East Plans Panel will meet to decide whether to approve the proposals on Thursday, April 7.