PROPOSALS to create a new golf clubhouse within the South Downs National Park are set to be put back on the table after previous plans which were criticised by residents were turned down.
At a special council meeting last week, the go-ahead was given for thousands of pounds to be spent on paying a company to design plans for a new facility at Seaford Head Golf Course.
Previous proposals submitted by Seaford Town Council – which owns the course – were rejected by Lewes District Council (LDC).
A number of residents were against the controversial plans stating the design of the two-storey building was ‘ugly’ and highlighted concerns over the potential noise from functions.
At the meeting last Thursday, members of the audience asked for residents to be properly consulted before any new plans – which include the clubhouse with a function facility – were discussed by LDC.
Fred Newman, a member of the golf club, got the ball rolling by stating there was a need for new facility, adding, “I’ve lived in Seaford coming up to 13 years.
“We have a building, a good cook, an excellent team of greenkeepers and good working committee but have an outdated building which is almost falling down.” Resident Ian Cairns said the area was the wrong location for a function facility while Bob Gower asked, “As fresh plans have been submitted, will these be put on display for public consultation before the application is submitted?”
“Have all of the points raised causing the objection of the first submitted plans been addressed to the satisfaction of the planners and confirmed in writing?”
The committed explained that the tax payer would not be footing the bill for any new build, with town clerk Sam Shippen adding, “The town council’s actual budget is just short of a million pounds a year.
“The repayment is expected to be made from a combination from increased usage of the golf course as well as use of golf club house facility.
“The biggest provision of function space (in the town) is the constitutional club and they have been willing to work with us.
“They are turning away business so we think there’s outlet for that kind of thing in the town.”
Councillor Barry Groves said, “Seaford Head has been waiting nearly 50 years for a new clubhouse it’s about time we got on with it.
“It will be bring business into the town.
“A lot of people say they love the course and the facilities afterwards are not good enough for us.”
Councillor Ian White explained if the application was not submitted before March 30 then an additional fee would have to be paid.
He added, “I think it’s quite clear to everybody we’ve been working on plans for a new clubhouse for at least four years, probably five.
“These plans have been delayed, put back and ummed and arred over for that period of time.
“The golf course and catering facility should generate funds to service the loan without any money going onto the precept.”
The plans will have to be approved both by Lewes district and the South Downs National Park authority.
Councillors agreed that Cheesmur be contracted at a cost of £24,750 to undertake the design and reports.
l A public consultation on the plans will be held at the clubhouse on Wednesday, February 29 from 4pm until 8pm. The contractors, architect and some councillors will be on hand to speak to the public.
The plans will be left on display until Sunday, March 11 for the community to view and make written comments.