Kingsley Parish Council has explained the reasons behind why it is objecting to plans that could see the remodelling of the course at Whiston Hall Golf Club. The Times & Echo reported in November that the club had defended its plans to improve safety and solve drainage issues after the council raised major concerns over a large quantity of material proposed to be transported to the site.
Kingsley Parish Council has explained the reasons behind why it is objecting to plans that could see the remodelling of the course at Whiston Hall Golf Club.
The Times & Echo reported in November that the club had defended its plans to improve safety and solve drainage issues after the council raised major concerns over a large quantity of material proposed to be transported to the site.
Plans have been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) to protect the long-term viability of the golf course, with changes seeing the repositioning of holes and tees with the installation of “high quality greens to USGA standards.”
The golf club had a previous application rejected in 2019 on the grounds of adverse impacts and objections outweighing the benefits.
The 1.2-kilometre course lies within the parish of Kingsley having been constructed in the early 1970s without the guidance of an expert golf course architect.
Specialist golf course designers Green Tyger Design Ltd have been called in by the applicant to oversee the newly-proposed project.
A draft waste recovery plan document within the planning application states that the proposed five-phase development would “require a total volume of some 102,531 metres-cubed of material to achieve the proposed landform and raise the height of the landform by an average of 1.3-metres across the application site.”
It adds: “This would equate to around 150,000 tonnes of material.”
Now, Kingsley Parish Council have fully outlined its six grounds of objection to the proposals.
These are: Misleading objective; Potential dumping of hazardous material; Negative traffic impact; Noise pollution; Climate change agenda; Policy.
A statement from Kingsley Parish Council reiterated its position that it believes the application is “deceptive and misleading” and is in fact “a heavily disguised waste management/landfill operation.”
It added: “The 150,000 tonnes 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.”
Kingsley Parish Council claim that part of the plans violate policy regulations too.
The statement continued: “The noise Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Joint Waste Local Plan Policy 1.6 states that proposals for new Landfills or Land-raise would generally not be permitted and then only as a last resort.
“Despite elaborate attempts by the applicant to disguise the situation, the proposal is undoubtedly a land fill operation masquerading as a golf course remodelling exercise. The proposed Landfill operation is in direct breach of Policy 1.6.”
Concerns around negative impact on the area were underlined, specifically while works were taking place.
The statement continued: “The nature of the material accepted onto the site will be at the discretion of employees of the applicant working on the site. There will be no independent verification.
“Despite assurances to the contrary, there is a real risk of potentially hazardous waste being dumped at the site.
“It is stated within the planning statement supporting the application that none of the vehicles bringing waste material to the site will travel through Whiston.
“Given the main A52 main road goes through the village it is difficult to believe that could be the case, or that such a condition could be enforced on multiple transport contractors.
“In any event, the volume of HGV traffic entering and leaving the site on a daily basis would have a negative impact on Whiston and the surrounding area.”
It added: “Despite assurances to the contrary, the noise generated by HGV traffic entering and leaving the site and the ongoing use of plant and equipment on the site would undoubtedly have a negative impact on the village and in particular those living near the site.”
Worries were also highlighted regarding the proposed removal of trees.
The statement read: “The proposed removal of 281 existing trees from the site is directly opposed to climate change policies presently being pursued by the Government, Staffs County Council and Staffs Moorlands District Council.
“It would be very regrettable if this was allowed to happen at a time when councils and communities are being encouraged to undertake wide ranging tree planting to support initiatives to combat climate change.”
Kingsley Parish Council said that in the “unfortunate event” that the plans were passed, it would like to see conditions regarding regular waste monitoring by Staffordshire County Council and contractual obligations to ensure environmental regulations are complied with.
One public objection to the plans said the transportation of the large amounts of material would “have a massive impact on wildlife, the natural water course and the local appearance.”
Luke Parkin of Eaves Lane, Whiston continued: “The golf course does not need 150,000 tons (of) rubbish dumped on it. It needs to be regularly maintained and a new drainage system installing that is it.
“We are supposed to be protecting our local area and environment not turning it into landfill. We are all for sustainable living and doing our bit for global warming. This can not go ahead!”
A decision on the outcome of the planning application is yet to be decided by SMDC.
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