A GOLF club in South Oxfordshire is planning a major series of upgrades and a new on-site hotel and spa.

The Springs Golf Club near Wallingford is aiming to build 43 lodges and demolish its former hotel.

The 133-acre club, in North Stoke parkland, is seeking planning permission to ‘reorganise tourism facilities’ and get rid of a number of older buildings.

However, the application by developers Darwin (Springs Country Club) Ltd may come under scrutiny because of its proximity to North Stoke Henge and ring ditch site, a scheduled ancient monument.

The Oxford Times:

Oxfordshire County Council says the plans – which include a new spa and reception building, a replacement green keeper maintenance and laundry building and an extension to the existing clubhouse – need more detailed archaeological evaluation before being pushed forward.

However, other responses have been positive and there has been relatively little local opposition to the plans, as is often expected with major planning applications.

Sarah Parks, the developer’s head of marketing, said: “We are encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have so far received from local residents and members to our plans and hope that the planning authority will welcome what we are trying to achieve.

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“Darwin has already demonstrated its commitment to transforming The Springs into one of Oxfordshire’s leading golf courses by making significant improvements to the course and club house.”

The plans also include the demolition of the former hotel, staff accommodation block, storage shed, committee building, greenkeepers shed and maintenance building, with an on-site caravan also being removed.

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Ms Parks continued: “We hope that the next phase of our plans, to introduce luxury lodge accommodation and a spa, as well as further improve the club house, will continue to bring benefits to the local community through the creation of permanent jobs and increased tourist expenditure in the local area, as well as providing a leisure amenity for local residents.”

One of the residents who has responded to the application is Christian De Morgan, of nearby Pococks Lane, who was concerned about the potential impact on animals in the area.

Mr De Morgan explained: “I am saddened at the proposal to demolish a significant part of our local history in lieu of the four Mill Pond lodges.

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“In addition, there is significant apprehension over the potential impact on the diverse wildlife that lives in and around Mill Pond.

“The council should be entirely comfortable that the proposed works will in no way affect them.

“Retaining the existing heritage building would immediately mitigate this point.”

The consultation period ends on June 26, with a target decision date set for August 21.

For more information, visit the South Oxfordshire District Council website southoxon.gov.uk and search for planning application number P19/S1536/FUL