‘Homes will free up cash to in­vest in leisure com­plex’

Busi­ness­men re­veal plans for pay-and-play golf course

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Cup Final Success - By Ai­dan Bar­low

A pay-and-play golf course is set to be re­de­vel­oped for seven top-of-the-range houses, busi­ness­men have re­vealed.

Broth­ers John and Grant Kay run the Ash­ford Golf Com­plex in Bears Lane near Great Chart, but say their nine-hole course is no longer fi­nan­cially vi­able.

The 25-acre course first opened in 2002, and at one stage boasted hun­dreds of mem­bers, but the broth­ers ad­mit that its pop­u­lar­ity has de­clined.

In­stead, they have sought to rein­vest in the leisure fa­cil­i­ties on the other side of the rail­way tracks, where there is a driv­ing range, archery, pitch and putt and other ac­tiv­i­ties.

Grant Kay said the de­ci­sion to build seven houses on the land to the north of the rail- way tracks will free up cash to in­vest in the leisure com­plex.

He said: “The golf has gone down the tubes in the last few years, so the course is re­dun­dant re­ally and the cost of the up­keep is pretty high.

“That’s why we want to de­velop the leisure side where we have ac­tiv­i­ties like the golf and archery.

“When we first opened the nine-hole course peo­ple would come to use the driv­ing range or pitch and putt and then go for a round.

“But nowa­days there are so many other things to do, with Sky Sports and the Xbox and it is an­other part of the de­cline of golf.”

Mr Kay said that if ap­proved, the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for the homes would al­low more in­vest­ment at the driv­ing range side of the busi­ness, and said the homes would be built to very high stan­dards.

“We’re a fam­ily busi­ness, but the place is a bit tired now, so it would be nice to make sure it is in keep­ing with the way Ash­ford is go­ing and de­vel­op­ing,” he said.

“We want to in­vest more money into it to make it bet­ter. The leisure side of the busi­ness is def­i­nitely go­ing to con­tinue.”

The plans have been sub­mit­ted to Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil and are cur­rently open to public con­sul­ta­tion un­til Sun­day, April 30.

To view the plans visit the plan­ning sec­tion at www.ash­ford.gov.uk and search for ref­er­ence 17/00469/AS.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@ thek­m­group.co.uk

Golf course own­ers Grant and John Kay

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