Notts County owner slams Rushcliffe council for 'outrageous' planning decision over his bid to extend golf club house

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

The owner of Notts County and Ilkeston Town has hit out at Rushcliffe Borough Council over an “outrageous” planning decision which he says will harm one of his businesses and stifle the economic growth of the surrounding area.

Alan Hardy, who owns both football clubs among a number of businesses in Nottinghamshire, has been told by Rushcliffe Borough Council that it would not support an application to extend the club house and hotel of the Nottinghamshire Golf & Country Club outside Cotgrave.

The club was rebranded the Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club in September 2010 after being bought jointly by Mr Hardy.

Responding to Mr Hardy’s pre-application letter, the council cited concerns over potential “harm to the Green Belt through the construction of inappropriate new buildings and visual impact on openness” as a reason why any formal applications would not succeed.

However Mr Hardy, speaking to the Post, said he believed that the plan proposed would not have any detrimental effect on the Green Belt land and would instead provide a big boost to the local economy.

“We are surrounded by thousands of acres of rolling countryside,” he said. “We’re not building on greenery, we are not taking away the countryside we’d be working in the car park. We’d be creating 20 jobs for a community that needs them. It’s absolutely outrageous.”

Commenting on the decision, Rushcliffe Borough Council executive manager for communities Dave Mitchell said: "We have given Mr Hardy pre-application advice in advance of any planning application but at this stage have not rejected any application.

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"We have advised part of the current proposal is acceptable but the site is within the green belt where more restrictive planning policies apply. It is for Mr Hardy and his advisors to decide whether to proceed with a planning application and the contents of any such application."

In August, permission was granted by the council to extend the car park serving the golf club. The club counts more than 1,000 members and has hosted some high-profile events, including the English Girls Open Amateur Championships in July last year.

Mr Hardy said that the Conservative-led Rushcliffe council was not sticking to its manifesto promise of supporting businesses in the borough.

He added: “It’s a Tory ward and Tories are meant to be about innovation and creating growth and helping out the economy. We are being offered no support.”