Springs Golf Club, located south of Wallingford, was acquired by Darwin Property Investment Management Ltd in 2017. The new owners had detailed proposals to invest in the site and in the provision of ancillary supporting facilities. The existing site comprised of 133 acres with an 18 hole golf course and club house. On the site there was also a derelict former hotel (now closed).
The new owners had a well established business model based on their ownership of resorts in the UK centred around lodge accommodation and leisure and sought to invest in the site and establish an alternative accommodation offer and resort concept.To do so the site needed to comply with all relevant local planning guidelines arising partly from the Golf Club’s location in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and to address concerns as to the appropriateness and special circumstances related to the development proposals and their viability.
Independent evidence of the market and business case for this new accommodation offer was needed that also required an assessment of the option of reopening the existing hotel building.
We worked closely with SLR Planning Consultants and Smith Leisure to provide the sector specific input required for the business case.
This involved an assessment of the demand and supply characteristics of the existing and proposed accommodation offer to identify the relevant competitive positioning for the future development.
We carried out site visits, interviews, local research and obtained benchmark evidence of hotel and lodge related performance information. A review was carried out of the option of redeveloping the existing hotel on site against alternative development options. This provided an independent market analysis of the site and comment on the commercial options available to assist in determining a sustainable long-term solution for this site.
The combination of legal, planning and sector related input led to a thorough assessment of the scheme and planning permission granted once the business case and planning rationale had been proven.The development is underway having progressed during 2020/21.