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Golf course revamp plans branded ‘landfill in disguise’

Community leaders claim plans to remodel a golf course amount to a ‘heavily disguised landfill operation’.

A planning application has been submitted to Staffordshire County Council for the work at Whiston Hall Golf Club in the Moorlands.

It includes improving on-site water management, accessibility and player safety through bringing in materials to ‘re-grade and re-profile’ the course off Black Lane, Whiston.

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There would also be new irrigation ponds, an associated pump house and proposed landscaping and tree planting.

But members of Kingsley Parish Council fear the work will be a landfill operation. At a recent meeting, they agreed to strongly object to the proposals.

In a letter outlining its objections, the parish council said: “The application is deceptive and misleading in that it is a heavily disguised waste management/landfill operation falsely masquerading as a golf course remodelling exercise.

“The 150,000 tons of waste material which it is proposed to bring to and deposit at the site, roughly equates to 20 HGV loads per day, every 10-hour working day for two years.

“This is an immense volume of material by far in excess of what would be required for any necessary remodelling of the golf course.”

Councillors say this increased traffic would also have a negative impact on Whiston and the surrounding area. They have questioned an assurance that none of the HGVs would travel through the village.

Other concerns include potential dumping of ‘hazardous’ material, noise and the proposed removal of 281 trees from the site.

The parish council added: “In the unfortunate event of this application being granted, Kingsley Parish Council would ask that there are conditions imposed on the applicant to ensure regular monitoring by the Staffordshire County Council enforcement team of waste being dumped at the site.”

A planning statement, submitted on behalf of the golf club, says the 18-hole course has ‘longstanding issues’ affecting playability. The remodelling will ensure its future viability.

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Current issues include steep slopes, poorly designed and constructed greens, drainage problems and lack of an irrigation system.

The statement adds: “These problems, in isolation, may have been unlikely to materially affect the long-term viability of the golf course.

“However, in combination, they have created a golf course which does not meet required safety margins, is not accessible, does not provide for an engaging playing environment, is, in part, closed for large parts of the year and requires intensive management and maintenance.”

The county council is expected to make a decision on the application in the New Year.

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