|New Course for South Wales
5th September 2009
Millionaire businessman Sir Stanley Thomas has revealed plans to create new a world-class golf course.
The businessman, part of the Peter’s Pies dynasty, wants to build one of the longest golf courses in the UK, to rival those at Celtic Manor and The Vale, on land east of Cardiff.
And to build the elaborate new course he has brought in someone with a deep understanding of the game – his friend and Welsh golfing great Ian Woosnam.
The £8m, 200-acre Championship Standard course, complete with glass-fronted club house, will lie to the north of the M4 between junctions 29 and 30.
Sir Stanley, son of food entrepreneur Stan Thomas who built up the Peter’s Pies business in Bedwas, said he first planned to build his dream course 18 years ago. But at that time he had to put his plans on hold while he set up TBI, the company which previously owned a host of airports including Cardiff.
He told the Echo that he wanted the new course to be something special.
“I have played golf for 30 years and I continue to enjoy the game,” he said. “The original idea was to build the course 18 years ago but instead I created TBI.
“I want to create another special course in Wales, another centre of excellence. It won’t rival the Celtic Manor in terms of the level of investment or provide hotel accommodation, but it will be a course comparable with their best.”
The course will boast a luxury clubhouse, designed by architects Holder Mathias. The planned building will include a bar, dining room and full catering as well as a pro shop and changing rooms.
The architects have had to hand in two planning applications for the 18-hole course, designed by Dave Thomas Ltd, because only one hole lies in Cardiff while the other 17 are over the county boundary in Newport.
Nic Downs, project director with Holder Mathias Architects, is hopeful the plans will be given the go-ahead.
He said: “Our design for a contemporary club house, as well as the course as a whole, has been carefully planned to complement the existing landscape, and ensure that the character of the landscape between Cardiff and Newport is protected.
“We have also ensured that the plans meet the stringent planning standards for ecological requirements as well as take full advantage of the site’s wide panoramas of the Gwent Levels.”
He added: “If completed, it will be one of the longest courses in Britain rivalling the standards set by The Celtic Manor Resort and The Vale in Cardiff.”
Although the course will not be finished in time for 2010’s Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Newport, its designers hope it will help attract more professional and amateur golfers to enjoy the sport in South Wales.
The plans will be brought before both Newport and Cardiff councils’ planning committees before the end of the year.
By: Clare Hutchinson, South Wales Echo
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