Work on restoring the clubhouse to its former glory has been progressing steadily since fire ripped through the building in Biddenden, Kent, on 14th September. Chart Hills general manager Matthew May said, “We are now nearing the end of phase one of the building work, which involves the complete removal of debris and dangerous structures from the damaged areas of the clubhouse. That should be finished next week.
“That will be followed immediately by the start of phase two, which will involve stripping out what is left of the upper floor, and turning our attention to the locker rooms on the ground floor which were water damaged.”
The third and final phase of the reconstruction programme will be the rebuild.
May added, “The plans are still being drawn up as far as the actual look of the new clubhouse is concerned, and the timescale involved depends very much on the weather. That is the first variable.
“The timing of the rebuilding of the clubhouse is good from a golf perspective as we are entering the quieter months of the season, but it is not a good time for the reconstruction work because we never know what the winter weather will do.”
No estimate has been put on the damage caused by September’s fire at Chart Hills, which was sparked by an electrical fault in an extractor fan near the administration offices and which forced 100 people, including a visiting golf society, to be evacuated before the fire tore through two-thirds of the clubhouse.
The administration block, the main entrance, foyer and reception and the areas set aside as the players’ lounge and press area during the Ladies’ English Open were destroyed, while the spike bar and professional’s shop escaped unscathed.
May, who took over as general manager at Chart Hills immediately after the second successful staging of the Ladies’ English Open in July, added, “The look of the clubhouse has yet to be finalised, but we are looking for a better use of space in order to rebuild bigger and better than ever. And we aim to be up and running and fully operational as soon as possible, hopefully in time for next year’s Ladies’ English Open.”
Chart Hills hosts a Children in Need charity day on Saturday, 19th November. To book a team, or for more details, contact general manager Matthew May on 01580 242140, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chart Hills www.charthills.co.uk