Golf club ‘could close down’ if it doesn’t build holiday homes

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 17, 2018 11:38

An Essex golf club has become the latest in the UK to warn that it could close unless it builds apartments to provide an additional revenue stream.

Toot Hill Golf Club is seeking planning permission from Epping Forest District Council to build 10 two-bed holiday units

If approved, the open plan, en suite apartments would replace sheds left over from the site’s use as a farm before work begun on its conversion in 1988.

“Over recent years there has been a steady decline in the number of members at the golf club,” said a spokesman for Giess Wallis Crisp LLP, which is the golf club’s accountancy firm.

“This has reduced from around 400 members to an expected membership for 2018/19 of around 150.

“This has required the owners and managers to assess the ongoing funding of the golf club, There have been many golf clubs in the local area close over the last couple of years.”

Despite the ‘renowned undulating parkland course’ being ‘undoubtedly one of the finest in Essex’ according to its website, sessions costing up to £40 a round might not been enough to balance the club’s books.

“In order to secure the future of Toot Hill Golf Club Ltd it is necessary to diversify the business income stream to survive and ensure the club is financially viable,” the accountant continued.

“At Toot Hill it is planned to construct golfing holiday accommodation in place of a barn. These are expected to benefit the golf club.”

The application submitted to the council goes on to say ‘without additional diversification there is a real danger that the golf course will close.’

Erecting homes overlooking or in close proximity to golf courses has been a significant trend in recent years, as golf clubs have sought new revenue streams. This trend has led to stories such as last year, when we reported on a Sussex golf club that wanted to downsize in order to build homes, and this year one club has agreed to sell its clubhouse to have it replaced by apartments. Last month we reported on two Yorkshire golf clubs that want to build hundreds of homes between them.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 17, 2018 11:38
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