50-room 'golf hotel' to be built on disused course

A satellite image of fields and a pond with a road running through the landscape.
The site of the former Kyngs Golf and Country Club, where a new 50-bed hotel will be built. -Credit:Google

A 50-room hotel is to be built on a disused golf course on the edge of a Leicestershire town. Statue Homes was given permission by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council's plans committee to build the hotel at the former Kyngs Golf and Country Club, on land previously approved for six ‘golf holiday homes’.

The site, off Station Road, in Market Bosworth, was turned into a golf course in 2011 by ex PGA professional Nick Leatherland, but the facility was closed in 2016. The new owners won permission to build the six golf lodges in 2020 along with a clubhouse, but submitted redesigned plans earlier this year to instead build the two-storey hotel, which will sit in the same footprint as the six approved lodges.

Almost 30 objections to the scheme were submitted by local people who argued there was currently no operational golf course nearby, that the town did not need a hotel and that the building would "have a dramatic effect on the landscape". Heritage group The Market Bosworth Society also objected, saying: "There is no golf course. Golf has not been allowed since the property changed hands and the golf club members at that time were evicted from the site."

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But councillors praised the potential of the scheme, pointing out that overnight tourists would be "helpful" for the borough and county, with one committee member saying it would be "an asset to Market Bosworth", and adding that the new owner had maintained the disused course. Planning officers attached a condition to the approval stating the hotel could not be used until work to reinstate the golf course had taken place and the course had been "brought into use".

The owner of a neighbouring house told councillors she feared the development would overlook her home, and that she would be able to see into the hotel’s bedrooms from her property, which "represents an unacceptable loss of privacy for us and the hotel guests alike". She added that even though the hotel would be built in the footprint of the approved lodges, the change to a 50-bed, two-storey hotel represented "an entirely different proposition for the community". “As someone who works in finance, I do struggle to see at the moment the commercial viability of the project as there’s no leisure facilities or golf course operating on the site at the moment or for some years,” she said.

Ward councillor Maureen Cook said she had been "inundated" with comments from locals, adding: “They’re all very confused.” She said people were concerned over the impact on the views across the countryside. “What makes the site special? It’s undulating with a wooded hilltop and it has far reaching views over Leicestershire.”

Parish councillor John Manley addressed the meeting, held last week, saying the parish council would give full support to the reinstatement of the 18-hole golf course on the site, but that the hotel "would cause harm to the valued views and vistas over this area".

But Councillor Brian Sutton said the new owner had kept the course "in reasonable condition", and added: “The base is there for creating a new golf club. Personally I think it’s an asset to Market Bosworth to have a golf club of that stature eventually, but golf clubs don’t make money out of the greens. Golf clubs make money out of entertainment and the corporate side.” He also said the nearest house would be 100 metres away and questioned how there could be an issue with overlooking.

Coun Sutton concluded: “We’re always on about promoting tourists. I’ve always said if we have tourists we want them to stay overnight to spend their money. The day trippers are a perishing nuisance."

Council leader Stuart Bray said: “Both this council and Leicestershire County Council have spent a considerable amount of time and effort in moving our economy to be supportive of tourism. That overnight stay has been a very strong desire of both this council and the county council in this part of the world. We don’t very often get applications for hotels."

While Councillor Richard Allen added: “It does have the potential to be an absolute credit to this borough.” Committee members voted to approve the application, although the vote count was not revealed.

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