Council rejects golf club’s bid for hotel

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 5, 2023 10:12

A Leicestershire golf club’s plan to build a 98-bedroom hotel on a disused nine-hole golf course has been rejected by its local borough council.

The project, at Forest Hills Golf and Conference Centre, had received support from its local parish council, but planning officers at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council said the hotel would be ‘incongruous’ with its rural surroundings in the National Forest.

The club said the hotel would have provided it with an economic boost after the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Desford Parish Council had written in support of the plans, also saying it would boost the local economy and increase tourism.

Sparsis Leisure, which submitted the application, wanted to build the hotel on scrubland next to the venue, in order to provide accommodation and spa facilities for people attending events at the club and for visitors to the area. The land was previously a builders’ landfill site, which is classed as ‘brownfield’ – land which is preferred for development over greenfield sites.

Forest Hills Golf and Conference Centre. Image from Facebook

The proposal was part of wider plans to revamp the site, which the applicants hoped would secure the club’s future after they revealed in planning documents that the Covid-19 pandemic had ‘highlighted the changing economic landscape’.

Desford Parish Council wrote: “Although this site falls outside the parish boundary, Desford Parish Council wishes to support the application as the benefits would be felt across the surrounding area. The proposed 98-bed hotel with leisure and spa facilities at the Forest Hill Golf Club will contribute significantly to the rural economy through the level of employment it would generate.

“The site is currently brownfield and the improved biodiversity would support the National Forest strategy. The proposal would also encourage further tourism.”

However, planning officers  turned the application down under delegated authority, and wrote in their report: “The proposed hotel would constitute an incongruous form of development positioned within a prominent location in this rural location in the National Forest.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 5, 2023 10:12
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