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Rutland County Council approve 60 lodges and five lakes at Woolfox Golf and Country Club, near Stamford




Plans to develop a major new tourist site in Rutland at a golf club close to the A1 were given the go ahead by county council planners on Tuesday.

Rutland County Council's planning and licensing committee gave the green light to build 60 holiday lodges and five inter-linked lakes at Woolfox Golf and Country Club.

Chris Riddle bought the former Rutland County Golf Club 18 months ago and believes the landscape of the site fell in with his long-held aims.

The swimming pool and gym is hoped to be open by next summer. Picture: Harris & Mccormack
The swimming pool and gym is hoped to be open by next summer. Picture: Harris & Mccormack

Accommodation will form 27 small, 21 medium and 12 large lodges.

"The vision is to create a modern country club and retreat in Rutland," he said.

"The concept is something I have been wanting to create for a long time but it came together since owning Woolfox.

A total of 60 leisure lodges will be developed at Woolfox Golf And Country Club
A total of 60 leisure lodges will be developed at Woolfox Golf And Country Club

"We want to form the lakes to enhance the ecology here. The main focus is to get get people outdoors - it's a different offering to Centerparcs."

The 38.9-hectare site will cover about half of the current 18-hole course, but 11 holes and the club's driving range will remain open for use for the public and guests.

Chris said it could be reconfigured into a nine-hole course, while the driving range will be revamped.

An artist's impression of the leisure suite and clubhouse at Woolfox Golf and Country Club. Picture: Harris & Mccormack
An artist's impression of the leisure suite and clubhouse at Woolfox Golf and Country Club. Picture: Harris & Mccormack

Existing barns will be converted into a leisure suite including gym, swimming pool and staff accommodation, while the current golfers' clubhouse will be renovated and altered for guests.

Outdoor activities will include running track, walking routes, fishing and non-motorised watersports such as paddleboarding.

The proposals promise to generate 52 full-time and 22 part-time jobs.

Planning officers said the plans would meet some, but not all policies within the development plan, but not others.

Yet on balance they concluded the economic benefits of tourism and new employment outweighed the negatives, while adding 16 conditions for issues including access and ecological impact.

Planning committee members raised concerns of overdevelopment and whether the clubhouse facility could cope if all 225 bedrooms were occupied.

Yet they agreed with the officers' conclusion, and six of the seven committee members voted in favour, with one abstention.

Chris hopes the gym and swimming pool will be open by next summer with work to construct the lodges to follow as the second stage of the development.

He will run the site with his father and hopes to involve future generations of his family.

"Hopefully my children will follow," Chris added.

"This is a very long-term scheme, not in and out. We are a local family and this is a lovely place to be."



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