Essex golf club's £2m drive for sports complex

PUBLISHED: 09:10 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 07:20 30 May 2010

A £2 MILLION sports complex could be built in an area of protected countryside around Stansted Airport if a golf club s ambitious plans get the go-ahead. Elsenham Golf and Leisure has re-submitted an application to Uttlesford District Council to build a m

A £2 MILLION sports complex could be built in an area of protected countryside around Stansted Airport if a golf club's ambitious plans get the go-ahead.

Elsenham Golf and Leisure has re-submitted an application to Uttlesford District Council to build a multi-purpose sports facility on its Hall Road site.

The council's planning committee rejected a similar proposal in May because the site is in a protected green zone designed to stop the erosion of countryside around the airport.

Owner Colin Pharoah said: "The new plans are for a facility about 200 square metres smaller in size and much more compact, so we hope we have addressed all of the issues raised by the planning officers.

"We want to be a resource for the wider community and link in with the schools and clubs in the area. It would be a centre not just for people in Elsenham but also nearby towns and villages such as Molehill Green, Stansted Mountfitchet and Takeley. We will also have extensive disabled facilities."

The centre will consist of a health facility, swimming pool, squash courts, sports hall, reception, restaurant and 40 parking spaces.

"The application is absolutely essential for the survival of the golf club in the long term," said Mr Pharoah. "For years golf clubs have struggled to survive during the winter months.

"A new development will ensure that the golf club is absolutely sustainable throughout the whole year."

The golf club, which currently has about 700 members, is spread over a 35 hectare site and has a nine-hole golf course. A new centre on the site would create up to 20 new jobs and help address the sports facility needs of workers at Stansted Airport.

Assistant manager Louise Boswell said: "There are very few sports facilities in this area for families to use, especially swimming pools. At the moment they have to travel a fair distance. We hope to offer people more choice."

Elsenham parish councillor, Cllr Catherine Dean, said: "The parish council did not object to the original application so I think it's unlikely that they will fight the new plans.

"Hopefully they have come back with something which is smaller and less ambitious."

WHAT do you think of the plans for a new sports centre in Elsenham? Let us know by emailing editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Dunmow Broadcast