COMMENTS & QUESTIONS TO EDITOR

 

Comments and questions received and replies with a common subject have been combined.

 

Editor has written the Business Plans and Financial Models for two golf resorts and one private golf club with experience required to comment meaningfully on the hotel and courses during and after their construction. Editor's comments and replies are apolitical.

 

1. CONSULTATION

Council is committed to making the Resort happen.

Very poor with little information of value provided.

No plans.

No 3D indications of visual impact.

No community involvement.

Council has not replied to its survey request.

Nicklaus Group is unaware of concerns.

Survey responders

          165 had concerns for economic impact

           32 thought Resort would be economically beneficial.

           191 people had concerns for roads & traffic.

           206 protested against closure of Tip Lane pathway.

           180 objected to building on Green Belt and loss of amenity.

           3 people regard building on Green Belt as acceptable.

           237 expressed concerns for flooding of homes & Gilroy Road Allotments.

          102 people were concerned for the ecological impact.

           73 people have concerns for golf as a declining sport & adverse effect upon Wirral course.

           3 people anticipated an improved Municipal Course.

           9 had concerns for completion & quality of new Municipal Course.

           2 thought the Municipal Course should not be replaced.

           29 people had concerns for conduct of consultation process with hidden secrets.

           6 people have concerns for secrecy of Langfields SBI recommendation.

           Archaeology, Council impartiality, effect on existing services, adverse impact on Hoylake,                       Japanese Knot Weed, Pay&Play, noise & disruption during construction, emergency                         vehicle access, cash benefits to Hoylake, use of water features for sport, secrecy,                           adverse impact upon rural & urban landscape, lack of Council management skills,                           commissions to Councillors, heavy chemical usage, carbon-footprint & climate                                 change all received adverse concern.

          3 workers in tourism were supportive.

 

REPLIES

These comment has been made many times, including by our MP.

Council ignores request to reply to survey.

Council survey shows that

Council survey was faulty because it ignored Best Practice .

 

2. ECONOMIC IMPACT

New resort will be a wonderful boost for the area, bringing jobs and visitors to the local shops, bars and restaurants.

People cannot be imprisoned on the golf resort.

They will also want to look at the beautiful areas that you have shown me on your photos!

Golf is not a declining sport.

Golf is a decling sport, Resort will adversely affect Wirral clubs.

Good quality is needed in the area.

For the benefit of rich people.

Locality needs a good hotel.

Developement will stop decline of Hoylake.

Puts Hoylake on the World map.

Council must take note of what is being said for and against Resort.

Council are not required to sell to highest bidder but must secure Value For Money.

St Andrews benefits from its golfing reputation and university connections.

This will make Hoylake internationally famous.

The Resort can only make profit from taking trade away from Market Street.

Wirral golf clubs are struggling.

Does WMBC know value of Resort to economy.

Council expects Liverpool & Chester to benefit from Resort.

 

REPLIES

For Resort to be profitable, Developer will ensure clients stay on Resort by providing everything           needed for a 4* stay.

Hoylake will receive no financial benefit from the Resort other than jobs.

Resort will purchase food supplies from wholesalers outside & away from Wirral.

"Every pound spent off-Resort, was a pound not in the till" says Editor.

Reciprocal playing arrangements were made in Editor's Plans for his clients to play at                             neighbouring clubs and courses for reduced Green Fees but full cost in bars, spas &                       restaurants - win / win for both resorts / clubs. Guests would have been happy, too, having           enjoyed experience of playing a course not ordinarily available.

Developers of resort hotels invest to satisfy clients and maintain revenue.

Data reported in the press, online and from golfing bodies recognise that golf is declining.

Numerous golf resorts and privately-owned golf courses on sale with Google search revealing

http://www.golfcourses4sale.co.uk/golfcoursesforsale (note the URL!)

http://www.golfclubmanagement.net/2014/11/see-16-golf-clubs-put-sale-uk/ (note URL)

Council has had this "aspiration" for about 15 years and cannot sell the courses it owns.

Nearest shops to housing on estate will not be Hoylake.

Resort is profitable only because golfers spend their money on Resort.

A good hotel might take trade away from Market Street, Hoylake.

Hoylake is not in decline.

The world already knows of Hoylake - stop putting Hoylake down!

Council has not written a business evaluation case and does not know value to economy.

 

3. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Do golf courses use lots of water & chemicals?

What is Langfields SBI?

Loss of amenity and bio-diversity.

Earth-works to make courses playable in all weathers will be huge.

Construction will take about 5 years.

20,000+ heavy vehicles using roads of neighbouring villages.

Are there bats on site?

Soil Association says that soil is "good."

The land has been continuously farmed for more than 200 years.

CPRE has concerns for loss and damage.

CPRE Appraisal is damning.

Council says that there is low ecological interest on site.

Council says site is not ecologically important.

Environmental staff are being laid off - what protection is there for trees, etc?

Hotel size will have impact on skyline.

Site has been farmland since before 1814.

 

REPLIES

Golf courses require about 25 cm of rainfall per acre; with 200 acres of Resort under golf,                     equivalent of 5,000 cm of rainfall will be required with United Utilities meeting the extra                 because annual rainfall for Wirral is about 85 cm.

Langfields SBI must be protected.

Meols Meadows SSSI must be protected.

Wider loss of bio-diversity impact is being investigated.

Editor is concerned for loss of environment protection staff.

 

4. FLOODING RISK

I cannot see how it can affect flooding in Meols and Moreton as it will be green not concrete!

Trees can be planted to absorb any surplus water created by the car park and hotel.

I'm sure that flooding will be appropriately considered to minimise impact.

Will the Resort increase or reduce the flood risk?

Because site is flood-plain huge earthworks required.

 

REPLY

Farmland is soft and absorbent with plenty of trees to take up water.

The houses of Meols, which lie upstream on the Birket, were flooded on 2 September 2015. To              make golf courses playable in all seasons and weather, the land (currently floodplain)                    needs to be re-shaped requiring about 23,000 heavy truck-loads of back-fill, which will                  affect site drainage.

Golf courses are harder than farmland to make them playable increasing run-off into the Birket.

Unknown how much of ground comprising light sandy soil overlying peat beds will be removed            but some will have to go.

Peat reduces the risk of downstream flooding, but homes were flooded on 2 September. Whatever replaces the peat, will affect site's ability to retain water and affect drainage.

Flood-risk requires great deal of thought and careful engineering.

Water collected will reduce the flood risk and be used for irrigation, but flow of water must be               controlled to maintain the important Meols Meadows (only such meadow on Merseyside).

Hydrology of Resort site is complex.

There will be significant concrete "hard surfaces" created by the hotel, houses, service roads and          areas affecting run-off into the public drainage system that does not have to cope today.

Recent flooding events show that Developers cannot be trusted to mitigate flooding.

 

5. GREEN BELT

I am happy for the current farm land to be made into a golf resort which will bring long lasting benefits to the area.

Building on Green Belt requires "very special circumstance."

Don't lose Green Belt for a golf resort.

Crazy plan.

Capita Symonds Report recommends against Resort.

 

REPLY

Loss of Green Belt is not to be considered lightly.

Regulations are tight to secure it.

If you are happy to see valuable farmland lost to a declining sport, then so be it.

There are no lasting benefits.

Developer must show "very special circumstances" for Planning Approval.

Council has refused houses on Meols Green Belt but anticipates giving approval to build homes            here on land that it owns.

 

6. HISTORY

There are historical remains on site.

 

REPLY

This is being investigated

 

7. HOUSING

There is plenty of housing available on the Wirral.

Houses to be built to make Resort economically viable.

Houses should be built on Brown-field, docklands, sites.

Affordable home are required.

Extra homes will create demand on local resources such as doctors, leisure facilities, schools.

 

REPLIES

There is a grave shortage of housing on Wirral, especially in the Affordable Sector.

Currently there are 1997 homeless people in the Borough being maintained in B&B, etc.

Houses make construction viable because cost of sculpting land will be high.

 

8. INFRASTRUCTURE

Extra homes will create demand for doctors, schools, etc

 

REPLY

Council has not considered this.

 

9. JOBS

Visitors will go to local bars, restaurants, shops, hairdressers, etc.

The Resort will bring jobs to Hoylake.

There is no guarantee that Hoylake people will be employed by the Resort.

 

REPLIES

On Resort, there will be two tiers of management with qualifications, experience etc                                commanding appropriate salaries.

Remaining jobs will be low paid service sector jobs adding very little to the Borough's Job Skill              rating.

Wage cost is a big proportion of the total - to make Resort profitable it must be minimised.

It is impossible to make jobs available to only Hoylake people.

 

10. LANGFIELS SBI

Why were the recommendations kept secret.

 

REPLY

Council refuses to reply.

 

11. LINKS ACADEMY

How & what are the "scholarships"?

 

REPLIES

Not all golf courses / clubs have academies.

"Links Academy" might be first.

 

12. LOCATION

"Out of Town Resort" not "Hoylake Golf Resort."

Is proposed Marrriott hotel 5 star or 4 star?

There will be implications for schools, utilities & doctors.

Proposal rumbling since 2001 - Officials afraid to say "No!"

Amenity will be lost.

The land has been farmed unchanged since 1814.

Hoylake rail crossing will cause disruption.

 

REPLIES

Resort is isolated from Hoylake by railway; Upton & West Kirby more convenient for shops.

Star rating is uncertain.

Resort is isolated from Hoylake by railway.

Resort might be surrounded by high fences and hedges.

Hotel will have high visible impact on skyline.

Houses will impact on countryside views.

 

13. MUNICIPAL & OTHER GOLF COURSES AND CLUBS

What will happen to it?

Why has Council failed to sell the courses that it owns?

Council is not investing in the courses it owns, why build one?

Too many golf clubs on Wirral.

Nicklaus will design the Municipal Course.

No guarntee that it will be completed.

 

REPLIES

It will be owned by Nicklaus.

Management at January 2016 is under consideration.

The Resort can survive only by taking away membership from Wirral clubs.

 

14. PETRO-CHEMICALS USAGE

Golf courses use large quantities of petro-chemicals for herbicides, pesticides and fertiliser.

Chemicals leach into the water features and some will contaminate the public supply.

 

REPLIES

Golf courses use 6 times more chemical fertiliser than farmland.

Resort will purchase chemical pesticide, herbicide & fertiliser from wholesalers outside & away           from the Peninsula.

 

15. PLANNING

There are too many golf courses on Wirral with some struggling.

New housing will create demand for doctors, leisure facilities, schools.

 

REPLIES

Planning pays no regard to "number"; entirely at Developers risk.

Wider requirements have not been addressed by Council.

 

16. PUBLIC MEETINGS

Public has not chance to debate.

 

REPLY

Public meetings were held and reported here.

 

17. RIGHTS OF WAY & FOOTPATHS

Save Tip Lane

Open-views of countryside & access will be lost

 

REPLY

Tip Lane, a Permissive, will be lost.

 

18. TRAFFIC

Will access road across Resort become HGV route?

Roads are already busy, don't want more.

Will extra roads have to be built?

Will roads have to be widened, straightened?

Will there have to be Compulsory Purchase Orders?

Will Wards of Upton, Frankby, Irby, etc be affected.

Traffic jams during construction.

Saughall Massie Rd & its feeders may not be able to cope with traffic & need widening,                            straightening.

Access road will not serve Hoylake.

 

REPLIES

About 180,000 HGV haulage trucks will be used during construction.

Unknown what will become of access road.

About 1,500 extra vehicles per day will visit site when completed.

Neighbouring Wards will be adversely affected.

 

 

COMPILED 07/01/2017

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