Plans to extend and improve Blackwell Grange Golf Club building approved by planners as membership reaches capacity

Darlington and Stockton Times: A golfer at Blackwell Golf Club, the former Stressholme A golfer at Blackwell Golf Club, the former Stressholme

PLANS to extend and refurbish the clubhouse of a former council-owned golf club have been given the go-ahead by planning officers.

Blackwell Grange Golf Club took over the municipal Stressholme Golf Course, off Snipe Lane, in Darlington, in July in a £1m land-swap deal with Darlington Borough Council.

At the time of the deal, senior members at Blackwell pledged to plough the proceeds of the sale of its former course, off Carmel Road South, into improving the Stressholme golf course and clubhouse for members and visitors.

The relocated Blackwell club has now reached full capacity after members of Stressholme were invited to join the new owners.

A planning application to extend the clubhouse to provide improved changing facilities, a lounge and office space, and a larger car park, were passed by planning officers from Darlington Borough Council under delegated powers.

Blackwell Grange club secretary Doug Christie said as well as improving the facilities at the clubhouse, the club had also invested heavily in improvements to the golf course and equipment.

Mr Christie said: “These plans are really what we said we would do when we decided to relocate here.

“We are looking to improve the existing changing facilities because they are not really adequate for a modern golf club. They are outdated and need revamping – they will have new showers and lockers so that they will benefit members and visitors.

“Everything has gone so well since the take over – the feedback from members is so positive and the whole thing has been very healthy for the golf club.

“We’re not just concentrating on the clubhouse, we’ve also invested quite a bit in equipment for the course, such as new machines to iron out the greens. We’re not just thinking about bricks and mortar, it’s about the whole course.”

Work on the new extension is expected to begin in March with a completion date of July.

The application to extend the clubhouse won the backing of planning officers who noted that although the site is outside the Darlington development limits, the extension would improve the overall look of the building and provide better facilities to the public.

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