Councillors on Swansea’s Planning Committee have voted unanimously to approve outline planning consent for a multi-million pound golf development on the Gower Peninsula, Britain’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Fairwood Park Golf Course, near Upper Killay in Swansea, originally submitted the scheme in March 2007, seeking to demolish their existing clubhouse building and replace it with a purpose-built tourism and leisure resort, including a luxury hotel, health and spa centre, with conference and banqueting rooms also on site. The planning approval means the development will now bring about the creation of 50 new jobs.
The club, which already has the only ‘championship’ status 18-hole course in Swansea, is seeking to establish itself as a flagship golf resort in south-west Wales as the Principality gears up towards hosting the Ryder Cup tournament in 2010.
Fairwood Park general manager, Erol Golbas, commented, “This decision will give golf tourism in Swansea a massive boost and will really help us to capitalise on the global coverage that Welsh golf will receive in two years time.”
The scheme itself seeks to redevelop an existing brownfield site upon which the present clubhouse buildings and car park now stand. Mr Golbas added that the plans were in line with the Council’s vision for tourism in Swansea and Gower, as outlined in the Swansea Bay Strategy that was implemented by the Local Authority last year.
“There is currently a big shortage of quality 4-star accommodation on Gower and this scheme will go some way to help redressing that balance,” he said.
Councillor Gerald Clement, Cabinet member for Culture and Tourism, said: “The applicant has worked particularly closely with our tourism department for the past two years. The result of these efforts is a highly prestigious development for Gower, which ties in with our hopes for Swansea.”
A council spokesman said, “The proposal contains a number of key strands which reflect what Swansea needs to do in order to realise its vision. Golf, quality accommodation and leisure facilities are key components of the Tourism Strategy. Combined they offer something unique to South West Wales, in that there is no comparable facility of its kind at present.”
The Club is now seeking to obtain full planning consent with a view to commencing work on site within a year.
Fairwood Park www.fairwoodpark.com