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Conwy: Planning application for specialist golf-course netting approved

Conwy County Council

A LLANDUDNO golf club will put up netting to protect residents from stray balls after councillors voted in favour of a planning application against officers’ advice.

Phillip Beard applied to Conwy County Council’s planning department, seeking permission to erect specialist golf-course netting along a 30m boundary at North Wales Golf Club House on Bryniau Road.

The area concerned is a triangular ‘parcel of land’ to the south-west of the clubhouse, north-west of homes on Fairways.

Residential properties adjacent to the club include those at Frank Villas, Elizabeth Villas, Clare Villas, Ernestine Villas, and Bryniau Court.

Residents want the 10m-high netting to protect their homes and a nearby park from stray golf balls and fear a new tee location under construction could add to the problems.

At a planning committee meeting at Bodlondeb, councillors voted in favour of the netting, despite officers recommending the application should be refused.

Cllr Mandy Hawkins proposed the committee vote against officers’ advice as local councillors and the town council wanted the application to be approved.

“I propose we go against the officers’ recommendation on this – you’ve got to listen to the local members,” she said.

Cllr Anthony Bertola said: “There is a park around the corner where children play as well.”

Cllr Stephen Price seconded Cllr Hawkins’ proposal and said: “I take issue with the fact if somebody is deliberately whacking a ball towards a residential building, the scope for a health and safety issue to arise from that person deliberately whacking a ball towards a residential building is high, because not only could that property be damaged, people’s cars can be damaged; children could be hit by a ball; elderly people could be hit by a ball, so I’m somewhat perplexed (to) why somebody would deliberately hit a ball towards a building without any kind of health and safety mitigation for that.”

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Cllr Trystan Lewis said: “I know it is quite frightening really that the houses are so close to the golf course.

“If I lived in that area, if my children were playing in the park or in the garden, I would be frightened to know that these balls could swerve to the left.”

Cllr Alan Hunter added: “While we talk about people who would play a ball a certain way, I’m not sure many beginners actually know where the ball is going to end up.”

Cllr Dave Jones added: “It’s a health and safety issue. Accidents happen. We see some of the professionals making bad shots all the time.”

Planning officers had recommended councillors refuse the application due to the proposed fencing being detrimental to the area’s visual amenity.

Officers said the plans were inappropriate in a designated special landscape area and were contrary to green belt and green wedge policies.

According to the council, the golf club doesn’t have planning permission for some netting already in place – and some repairs to existing netting are also needed.

The new fence will be constructed from three galvanised steel support posts with golf netting erected in between, fixed to horizontal wires.

But the matter will return to the planning committee next month where the decision will have to be reaffirmed, due to councillors going against officers’ advice.