A REPLACEMENT golf course must be found if plans to build a new indoor water park and a 500-bedroom hotel on the current Basingstoke Golf Centre site go ahead, a councillor has said. 

As previously reported, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has agreed an ‘in-principle’ deal, opening the door for Great Wolf Resorts to build an indoor water park resort next to the leisure park.

The major US-based leisure operator identified an interest in bringing one of its family attractions to Basingstoke.

The proposed resort, which would complement the facilities at the Aquadrome, could feature a 500-bedroom hotel, an indoor water park, conference facilities, and leisure offerings including mini-golf, mini-bowling, ropes course, games arcade and a selection of restaurants, cafés and bars, all subject to planning permission.

The plans have received mixed reactions from residents with some sharing concerns that the development may not be right for Basingstoke.

Basingstoke Gazette: Image of the facilities at a Great Wolf Lodge resortImage of the facilities at a Great Wolf Lodge resort (Image: Contributed)

READ MORE: Plans to build water park resort, new hotel in Basingstoke 

The site is currently home to Basingstoke Golf Centre, owned by the council, operated by the Basingstoke and Deane Community Leisure Trust and managed by Serco.

It provides a par-three nine-hole golf course, an 18-hole adventure golf zone and a floodlit driving range.

The leader of the borough's Labour group, Cllr Jacky Tustain, said on the positive side the new attraction will bring jobs, raise Basingstoke's profile as a leisure destination and help the economy.

However, she also shared some concerns with the Gazette including the fate of the golf course.

She said: “This submission is at an early stage of discussion. Everything is still to be determined. If it goes ahead, the council and Great Wolf Resorts have much to do to ensure this works for everyone. 

"However, we must have a replacement golf course before any plans are finalised. Any replacement course must be at least equal to the old one. It must also be in an accessible location for residents. We also need clarity around good public transport to the resort, and a clear plan to manage additional traffic and parking, minimising the impact on local estate roads.

"Finally, residents living nearby need transparency on how this may impact them. Should Great Wolf Resorts decide to proceed with an application, a full public consultation will occur as per any planning application. This will give everyone a chance to have a say.”

READ ALSO: Great Wolf: Residents react to plans to build water park

The former leader of the council, Cllr Simon Minas-Bound, who has been involved with the project since the start, is thrilled plans are taking a step forward.

He said: "This potential collaboration with Great Wolf Resorts could bring countless benefits to our borough, from increased tourism to job creation.

"The prospect of a new indoor water park resort, complete with various leisure activities, is truly exciting. I can't wait to see this vision become a reality and witness the positive impact it will have on our economy, other attractions, hotels, bars and restaurants.”