Plans for 80 holiday lodges and spa submitted to council

Browston Hall plans to replace its indoor bowls green with a 'classic car sales showroom'. Picture:

Browston Hall wants to expand its leisure and hospitality offer with the addition of 80 holiday lodges. - Credit: James Bass

A bid to transform a golf and leisure club into a countryside holiday haven is in the hands of planners.

Browston Hall, at Browston Green, near Gorleston, says the business is unviable - the impact of Covid adding to its woes - and that changes are needed to get it back on its feet.

The community and parish council have already been consulted as part of the bid with more than 80 homes sent leaflets and a public meeting held on December 10 drawing a range of concerns.

People gathered in the sport centre for the Browston Hall meeting

People gathered in the sport centre for the Browston Hall meeting - Credit: Anthony Carroll

The application has been submitted in two parts, referring to the east and the south side, with each being decided separately.

In the east 50 lodges, classed as caravans, are planned with a new leisure provision including ten-pin bowling, snooker, and a golf simulator taking shape in the existing, modern extension to listed Browston Hall.

The bar, restaurant, tennis, and bowling green will stay. 

One of the presentation slides about the proposed changes to Browston Hall shown at the meeting

One of the presentation slides about the proposed changes to Browston Hall shown at the meeting - Credit: Anthony Carroll

Meanwhile the driving range building will be demolished to make way for a new spa.

On the south side a nine-hole golf course will be swept away for 30 new lodges in a countryside setting with grassed areas.

A bid to host touring caravans has been dropped from the plans, and the land given over to a wildflower meadow.

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The papers say the development meets "a pressing need" to diversity.

A presentation on the Browston Hall plans was shown 

A presentation on the Browston Hall plans was shown - Credit: Anthony Carroll

They say: "At present the business operates at a loss and is only able to continue operations as a result of the owner’s financial support.

"The golf course is one of the largest financial ‘strains’ on the business with its maintenance costs significantly exceeding the annual revenue it generates.

"One of the major issues affecting the sustainability of the business, in particular the wedding venue, is the absence of any overnight accommodation for guests.

"Offering overnight accommodation and expanding the facilities to deliver a sustainable, high quality rural holiday destination, will allow the business to return to profitability in time."

The single storey lodges proposed have been named to reflect the local area with visitors choosing to stay in The Herringfleet, The St Olaves, the Fritton, or The Lound, depending on where they are on the site.

A decision is due by June 16. To view the plans and have your say visit the borough council's planning portal on its website.