Sign pe­ti­tion to stop golf course homes

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By NEAL KEEL­ING neal.keel­ @neal­keel­ing­men

A CAM­PAIGN has been launched to stop 1,400 homes be­ing built on a golf course.

Boysnope Park, off Liver­pool Road, Ir­lam, Sal­ford, opened in 1997 and is now a highly-re­garded 18-hole course with 300 mem­bers, and a club­house which serves food.

The 130 acres were con­verted from agri­cul­tural land by a lo­cal farm­ing fam­ily. The Stringer fam­ily sold the land to Peel in 2011 but then leased it back and have con­tin­ued to run the golf club.

Peel have now ac­ti­vated a clause to end the 10-year lease deal. This means the lease will not be re­newed and the club could close in sum­mer 2018. Six lo­cal coun­cil­lors have launched a cam­paign to save the club and the M.E.N. un­der­stands ne­go­ti­a­tions are on­go­ing to get the lease ex­tended. It is un­der­stood Peel have in­di­cated to the coun­cil that a mas­sive hous­ing de­vel­op­ment could be built on the course.

It’s un­der­stood Peel have also in­di­cated they would al­low the club­house to re­main and be run as a res­tau­rant or com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity.

A spokesman for the Stringer fam­ily said: “We are a farm­ing fam­ily but in the 1990s we had to di­ver­sify. The golf club had to work, it was about our liveli­hoods. We did a lot of re­search into it, and had to be sure we were do­ing the right thing. We planted 30,000 trees.

“When we sold the land to Peel we knew their his­tory. We were un­der no il­lu­sions that at some time in the fu­ture they would want to de­velop the land.”

The fam­ily sold the land af­ter five years of ne­go­ti­a­tions.

“We had a 10-year lease to carry on run­ning the golf club with a back-out clause af­ter three years. We thought that while it is in green belt, and an as­set for lo­cal peo­ple it would be OK.”

Ir­lam coun­cil­lor, Roger Jones, said: “Peel want to build ware­hous­ing on the site due to its close­ness to City Air­port and Port Sal­ford which is be­ing de­vel­oped, and 1,400 homes.

“The golf course should act as a buf­fer zone of green belt be­tween Ir­lam and Ec­cles. There is no planning per­mis­sion.”

A spokesman for Peel Land and Prop­erty said: “Peel is proud of its long-stand­ing as­so­ci­a­tion with Sal­ford. If Coun Jones has con­cerns about Boysnope Park Golf Club that he wishes to raise, we’d be happy to dis­cuss them with him.”

Boysnope Park Golf Course

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