DUMMER Golf Course (DGC) is set to be renamed and remodelled with a new clubhouse, facilities, vehicular access and driving range to be opened to the public, it has been revealed.

The 18-hole golf course is set to be renamed as Basingstoke Golf Course (BGC) along with a significant remodelling plan to introduce new water features, irrigation ponds and other ancillary buildings.

A planning statement prepared by Boyer on behalf of BGC has been submitted before the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and will be up for approval soon.

DGC was acquired by BGC in June this year following the decision to convert the latter’s Kempshott Park course into a 1,000-home residential area.

The Dummer course currently comprises an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, managers flat, driving range and ancillary outbuildings, together with existing vehicular access (from Down Street) and an associated car park.

The new plan includes the erection of a new driving range, the introduction of water features and irrigation ponds, erections of a new clubhouse and ancillary buildings to replace the existing ones, construction of new vehicular access (from Down Street), new parking areas and repositioned internal access roads.

Following two consultations with Dummer Parish Council, it has also been decided to open the clubhouse and other facilities to members of the public, although the golf course will remain exclusive to members.

According to the planning statement, BGC’s board and managing committee considered a number of options before acquiring DGC. These included exploring the potential to purchase an undeveloped land to build a new golf course. However, when taking account of general patterns of consolidation in the market, the acquisition and improvement of an existing course emerged as the better option.

DGC was identified as the preferred site for acquisition mainly because of its location.

Being in the immediate vicinity of Junction 7 of the M3 motorway, the BGC saw Dummer has a geographic advantage. The course is also closest to the former Kempshott Park site, which encouraged BGC board to go for Dummer.

The site extends to approximately 55.3 hectares. The current golf course and clubhouse was originally built between 1992 and 1993.

According to the planning application, the BGC board knew while acquisition that the Dummer course required modernisation.

It reads: “The current course design at Dummer is outdated in a number of respects. The lengths of the driving range and fairways are comparatively short, and not suited to modern golfing technologies (such as improved golf club design, which allow golf balls to travel further).

“For related reasons, the arrangement and distribution of the fairways does not present as much interest to golfers, when compared to a contemporary course design.

“Similarly, whilst the golf course is situated in an attractive location, the quality of existing contouring and landscaping (on-site) is comparatively poor. Some of the ponds and irrigation reservoirs are unattractive and utilitarian, and (as a product of their age) were not designed to promote biodiversity enhancements. It is also the case that the course, whilst irrigated, is not hydrologically sourced to remain green and verdant throughout the year.”

“The existing clubhouse is also dated and, whilst not unattractive, it is not of particular architectural merit. It was also built to the building standards and regulatory regime applicable in the early 1990s. The clubhouse therefore predates contemporary sustainable construction methods and energy/resource efficiency standards.

“A replacement clubhouse therefore provides an opportunity to introduce a contemporary, high-quality design, consistent with modern sustainability standards.”