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Golf resort plans move a step closer

PLANS to create a major golf, leisure and housing development in Hoylake have taken a step closer today, as Wirral Council’s cabinet is set to agree the project moving to the next stage.

The proposed Hoylake Golf Resort will see two new championship golf courses built including the only Jack Nicklaus designed municipal course in the country. The plans also include a luxury hotel, conference centre and new houses.

One of the biggest names in golf – Celtic Manor, the company behind the South Wales luxury resort which hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup and 2014 NATO summit, will manage the entire attraction and Story Homes will lead on the housing development, both working alongside Jack Nicklaus Joint Venture Group.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Phil Davies, said: "The Hoylake Golf Resort will be a flagship development which will create hundreds of jobs for local people and support businesses across the borough. As a globally-significant tourism and leisure attraction, it will support growth in our vibrant tourism economy and attract thousands of additional visitors to Wirral every year.

“Building on the success of the 2006 and 2014 British Open Championships at neighbouring Royal Liverpool Golf Club Hoylake, the Golf Resort will cement Wirral’s leadership position with the international golf community, benefitting from the visitors, tourism revenues and global attention that recognition will bring with it.

“However, it is more than simply two new golf courses. Hoylake Golf Resort will be a key leisure destination with a high-end hotel, restaurants, spa and conference facilities. It will prove to be an attractive offer for international conferences and similar events.”

The report to Cabinet details the next steps to progress the proposals, including the Council expectation that the developers complete the planning and various site investigations at their cost and risk.

The plan details the funding options being proposed and indicates the returns the council could expect to see through leveraging its assets and covenant strength. It also provides the full financial proposal for how the development will be delivered and, subject to it being agreed at the meeting on 18 December, will allow for a full planning application to be submitted in 2019.

The full planning application would include the results of environmental and transport studies, and will also involve extensive public consultation with residents to ensure local views are considered and included in the final plans.

Cllr Davies continued: “Working with partners with the expertise and reputation of Celtic Manor, arguably the strongest brand in golf hospitality today, and north-west based Story Homes means we are confident we will deliver a resort of the highest possible quality.

“This is another example of Wirral Council being commercial, ambitious and innovative. By using our resources and skills to secure major private sector investment into our borough, we will create jobs for residents and generate revenue for the Council.

“The revenue this development will generate each year – significant sums in council taxes and business rates – will be reinvested in supporting our frontline services, and will go some way to start replacing the funding Wirral has lost since austerity policies began in 2010.

Once the developer has completed all the studies and finalized the design for the project, the Council will undertake further public consultation on the proposals prior to the planning application being submitted and then undertake further statutory consultation as part of the planning process.

There will therefore be plenty of opportunity for people to give their views on the project and for these to be fully considered.