At the meeting of the Planning Committee of Elmbridge Borough Council on 18th November Burhill Estate’s plans to position Surrey at the forefront of golf tuition in the UK were thwarted when the Council rejected the application on a casting vote.
Paddy Mitchell, managing director of Burhill stated, “I am very disappointed by this decision, particularly as there was strong support within the Council, the Club and the public at large.
“This would have provided a fantastic opportunity to bring to Elmbridge the skills of Nick Faldo, his commitment to junior golf and the excitement of having the most influential golf-coaching establishment in the country. We believe this and our superb location at the heart of major transport routes is key to the success of the Faldo National.”
It was in May 2002 that Burhill Golf Group announced its planning application to build the Faldo National Golf Academy at its Weybridge headquarters. The Faldo National is the top tier of Nick Faldo’s golf improvement facilities and the development at Burhill would be unique to this country. A sister centre already exists in Palm Desert, California.
The £3.5 million venture would be housed in the spacious grounds of Burhill Golf Club utilising over 40 acres. The Academy would provide the greatest learning and development opportunities for golfers of all levels, from novices through to tour-pros and all in between.
Supporting the practice facilities would be purpose built training rooms, a mini gym, physio and 16 bedrooms for use by those golfers receiving tuition and members of the club.
“The use of residential accommodation was clearly of concern to some members of the Council,” Mr Mitchell continued. “However from my extensive research, particularly in the United States which leads the way in sports tuition, the availability of accommodation is of prime importance to the study modules we intend to offer. We passionately believe that this project is vital to the long-term development of golf in this country especially if we want to bring golf to the levels of excellence exhibited by Nick Faldo and some of our other emerging stars.”
He went on to say, “I know that Nick Faldo remains committed to this project and the development of junior golf in this country. In the meantime we are carefully considering our future action.”
Burhill Golf Club www.burhillgc.co.uk