A multimillion-pound transformation of a leisure resort famous for hosting iconic moments in the history of golf's Ryder Cup has been recommended for approval.
Permission is being sought for the construction of 27,986 sq ft indoor water park at The Belfry Hotel in Wilshaw, Warwickshire, as well as a new four-storey wing with 72 bedrooms. The water park would incorporate pools and attractions, including a lazy river and water slides.
The application, which is set to be voted on by North Warwickshire Borough Council on Monday 7 August, also features a new conference room, the Bel-Air nightclub being converted into a spa with views over the famous tenth hole, a further 40 new boutique-style bedrooms an expanded hotel lobby and new 6,996 sq ft ballroom to host up to 500 people.
TB Resort Operations, a subsidiary of owner KSL Capital Partners, has said the plan is the next stage in investment in the hotel following significant refurbishment in 2013 and 2014.
The hotel, which opened in the 1960s, has hosted the Ryder Cup, a biennial team golf competition between Europe and the US, in 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002. Europe's win in 1985 on the Belfry's Brabazon course was a first defeat since 1957 for the US team, and marked a renaissance in the level of competition for the historic trophy.
If approved, an extra 100 jobs are expected to be created on top of the 670 staff employed there at the moment.
A statement by EPR Architects on behalf of the applicant said: "Representing a substantial investment these proposals focus on considered expansion of The Belfry to secure and enhance the status of the resort, ensuring the property remains a pre-eminent destination on the international stage long into the future."
A council document said: "There is only limited Green Belt harm here for the reasons mentioned above and the benefits could be significant in terms of the growth potential for business and tourism
"The Belfry is already recognised locally and regionally as being a significant “destination” in its own right and it is that feature which gives it the “very special” weight.
"In the wider context too this is important given the HS2 development and the potential airport growth as well as economic growth within the West Midlands that is predicted."