‘Homes will free up cash to invest in leisure complex’
Businessmen reveal plans for pay-and-play golf course
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.
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Golf course owners Grant and John Kay