Closure warning if golf centre loses retrospective planning application

A golf and adventure centre could cease to exist if its retrospective planning application to convert green belt land into a mini-golf course fails.

The Mark Butler Golf Academy - Google Maps
The Mark Butler Golf Academy - Google Maps

Sedgley Adventure Centre, which sits within The Mark Butler Golf Academy on Sandyfields Road, has become a well-known and much-loved venue by locals.

A new mini-golf course opened on the site, which is classed as green belt land, in July 2021, to replace an existing course which had been in use for four years.

The course was moved to a different part of the site due to the previous one being on natural grass which would become muddy making it unplayable when wet.

It also wasn’t easily accessible for wheelchair users as there were no hard standing footpaths, which the new course addresses.

Manager Nicola Butler is hopeful the retrospective application will be successful, and warns the centre could shut if the application is turned down.

"We would like the community to support us as it is a key community venue," she said.

"A lot of different groups use the facilities on a regular basis.

"We didn’t know we needed the planning permission at the time.

"We’ve run it for eight years and if we don’t get planning permission it will cease to exist."

The submitted application argues that the National Planning Policy Framework allows for certain other forms of development that are considered not to be inappropriate development.

It also states that no significant excavations or regrading of the ground took place, meaning it has no detrimental impact to the openness of the surrounding greenbelt.

The application can be found on the Dudley Council Planning Portal with a decision date yet to be set.

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