Full swing ahead for Elsenham golf club plans

PUBLISHED: 08:54 20 November 2009 | UPDATED: 07:28 30 May 2010

A £2 MILLION sports complex in Elsenham, given the go-ahead by councillors at the second time of asking, will be an asset to the community. Uttlesford District Council s development control committee unanimously approved Elsenham Golf and Leisure s appl

A £2 MILLION sports complex in Elsenham, given the go-ahead by councillors at the second time of asking, will be an "asset" to the community.

Uttlesford District Council's development control committee unanimously approved Elsenham Golf and Leisure's application to build a multi-purpose sports facility on its Hall Road Site.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Janice Loughlin said the new complex would counteract an existing shortfall of such facilities in the village.

"It will be an asset and is badly needed," she said. "I have great pleasure in supporting it."

The council's planning committee had rejected the applicant's original proposal in May because the site is in a protected green zone designed to stop the erosion of countryside around Stansted Airport.

But the new plans for a facility about 200sq m smaller in size than the original proposals were nodded through.

Owner Colin Pharoah stressed that the centre will be a valuable resource for Elsenham and the wider community.

"We have always seen this project as being important for the local community and it is vital that we integrate with it as much as possible," he said.

"We want to encourage local schools and community groups to use the facilities as well as encouraging more families to use the club."

He added: "My family and I are extremely pleased that the application has now been passed. All the staff are very excited and looking forward to the new facility being operational."

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

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

"It is very important for the short and long term future of the club," said Mr Pharoah. "Golf clubs are very seasonal and these new facilities will enable the club to be sustainable all year round.

"It will continue to be open to everyone, whether a member or non-member. All facilities will be open to the public on a pay and play basis."

Work is expected to start in the spring and should take about six months to complete.

To find out more about Elsenham Golf and Leisure visit www.egcltd.co.uk

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