Views sought on £7m transformation of derelict golf course

Peter Allen

The public is to be asked for its views on £7m proposals by Preston-based GHV, to develop an upmarket holiday retreat on a derelict former golf course in Goosnargh on the edge of the Forest of Bowland.

Peter Allen, of GHV, said: “The investors behind the project live in the area and we want our neighbours and friends to have every opportunity to explore these proposals thoroughly.”

He said the scheme’s consultancy team will be on hand to answer questions.

“We’ve received some very helpful advice from officers at Preston City Council and the County Council that has enabled us to refine our proposals. We want the development to sit harmoniously in the landscape and so our focus is not about maximising density, but maximising visitors’ enjoyment of this lovely setting,” he added.

Findings of the public consultation will help shape the planning application, expected later in the autumn.

The public consultation will show how the 64-acre former pay-and-play golf course could be converted into a luxury tourism destination offering 127 upmarket lodges and 33 caravan pitches, together with a range of leisure facilities for guests, possibly including an indoor heated pool, tennis courts, games room, bar, restaurant and spa.

Figures produced by consultants Hatch show that local businesses can expect a £1.9m annual boost in visitor spend in the immediate area, with a further £2.3m coming in the form of wages paid to locally-recruited staff, more than 100 of whom are expected to work on the site when fully operational.

A further 45 jobs will be created among the local building supply chain during construction, says Mr Allen.

Goosnargh Golf Course was opened as a ‘pay as you go’ facility in 2005 and closed at the start of the pandemic.

The consultants on the project include Frank Whittle Partnership (architects), Miller Goodall (noise and air quality), PWA Planning, Eddisons (traffic engineers) and Allen Archaeology (heritage and archaeology).

The designers and consultants are to stage a consultation event at Whitechapel Village Hall on Thursday, October 6, from 7pm-9pm.

The plans will also be available online for five days from October 6, to give residents who can’t attend ample time to study and comment on the proposals.