Fresh plans for £13m Wallsend golf club transformation set to be approved

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Fresh plans for a multi-million pound revamp of a North Tyneside golf course which could create up to 100 jobs are set to be approved a year after the original proposals were thrown out by the council.

Harrison Golf and Leisure Newcastle Ltd is behind plans to transform the existing golf course at Centurion Golf Club, in Wallsend, and build a driving range that will be the first of its kind in the UK.

The HotShots Golf concept, launched in Texas in 2017, is designed to deliver golf to a younger and more diverse market by combining the outdoor facilities of a traditional driving range with state-of-the-art virtual reality technology.

However, the first application for the scheme was thrown out by North Tyneside Council’s planning committee last March after residents of neighbouring West Street raised fears about flooding, noise, and claimed it didn’t fit in with the area.

After going back to the drawing board the developer has come back with a scheme it says addresses these concerns.

As a result the range has been moved to face west running parallel to the Coast Road and there has been a “substantial” investment in drainage as well as two water features and planting to improve bio diversity.

At the heart of the new centre would be the £13m Centurion Golf Centre.

The advanced digital technology tracking equipment, from Foresight UK, transposes players’ shots onto digital screens which can show a number of virtual reality games or even allow them to play on a selection of world- renowned golf courses.

The brand new two-storey golf centre features 54 driving practice bays with clubs and an automatic ball dispensing system.

The rang will also house a sports bar and restaurant, golf pro-shop, changing rooms, a golf academy, and function/meeting rooms and offices.

The building will also feature locker rooms to provide natural linkage with the course and off-street parking facilities accessed from the adjacent West Street.

The developer says that the proposals would bring massive investment into Wallsend.

A report set to be heard by the authority’s planning committee said that the proposals would create 100 new jobs, it would also source goods and services locally bringing an estimated £4m a year to the area’s businesses.

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The authority’s planning department backs the scheme and has recommended approval for the plans.

A planning report said: “It is officer advice that the principle of the development is acceptable, the impact on highway safety is acceptable, the impact on the character and appearance of the area, the impact on biodiversity and landscaping and the impact on amenity is acceptable.”

North Tyneside Council’s planning committee will vote on the proposals next Tuesday.


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