Sussex club to downsize and build 130 homes
An 18-hole Sussex golf club that has suffered ‘significant financial loss’ in recent years is set to convert to nine holes and build 130 homes in order to secure its future.
Hassocks Golf Club has had its planning application, in which it will replace and reposition the clubhouse and build a new driving range and golf course, approved.
Nearly a third of the 130 homes will be affordable.
Its owner said the club would have closed if the application had not been approved.
Mike Ovett, club director, said the club now has the potential to “be the best in the region”.
He added: “The club has faced financial difficulty for a number of years and this is the only realistic way to continue the club. Ithas only avoided closure because of substantial ongoing subsidies from its owner. There are no longer any funds available to continue this subsidy.”
Denys Cole, club owner, added that the club had suffered “significant financial loss”.
“The club has continued because of funds I have injected myself. It will have to close if the plan does not go ahead and this will mean loss of jobs.”
Highways England objected the bid and one councillor said he did not think a nine-hole golf course would be ‘viable’, but there was sufficient support for it to be approved.
Proceeds from the sale of the housing site will enable the survival of the existing golf club business as a remodelled nine-hole course with an all-weather driving range along with a new purpose built clubhouse.
The new clubhouse will incorporate a bar, restaurant, pro shop and multi-use function rooms that will be available for external functions.
Previously the club had said that if the planning application is approved, all 21 jobs would be safeguarded, and new jobs would be created.