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JCB golf course application is entered

Graeme Macdonald

Graeme Macdonald

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PEOPLE in the Uttoxeter area can now have their say on proposals to build a state-of-the-art European Tour-standard golf course near the town.

JCB has now formally entered a planning application for the 18-hole course on 240 acres of land neighbouring its Rocester World Headquarters.

The digger giant revealed its intentions at the turn of the year, shortly after announcing ambitious expansion plans that could create 8,000 jobs.

The new course would create 100 new jobs, not counting roles created during construction.

Although, if the application is accepted, the course will initially be used to host corporate clients, JCB hopes it will eventually become a venue for the professional European Tour.

And, with the formal application having been entered for consideration by East Staffordshire Borough Council’s planning committee, residents affected by the plan can now make representations for or against it.

Lord Bamford said: “JCB is a global manufacturer with a successful track record in growing sales in overseas markets.

“As part of our plans to increase manufacturing capacity and grow sales, we need to build and event stronger awareness of the JCB brand around the world.”

CEO Graham Macdonald said: “The golf course will be the biggest marketing tool available to JCB in its history.

If ratified, the £30 million course, designed by leading firm European Golf Design, would measure 7,150 yards.

Eighteenth-century mansion Woodseat Hall would be transformed into a new clubhouse with a gym, a spa and five-star accommodation.

Other buildings on the site, including the Rookery, commonly known as the ‘haunted house’, would be revamped to serve the course.

Speaking at the unveiling of the project, golf course architect Robin Hiseman said, once finished, the site would match any professional golf venue in the world.

He said: “The dream to get the course on to the European Tour is realistic.

“I’ve designed a lot of courses, including Spain’s candidate course for the Ryder Cup.

“And JCB is a special site and could easily be adapted to host a tour event.

“If it did, more temporary jobs would be created for course staff.

“We’re taking full advantage of a rich landscape that includes deciduous woodland, classic English farmland and historic parkland, with many arboretum-standard specimen trees.”

Anyone who wants to take part in the consultation process is asked to visit www.eaststaffsbc.gov.uk/planning and search for application number P/2014/00228.

The deadline for consultation responses is July 3.

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