Support for £50 million holiday venue plan at estate near Bridgnorth –

The proposals to develop the Astbury Estate would create golf, tennis, and spa facilities - along with nearly 300 wooden lodges across the site. A request for planning permission for the project has been submitted to Shropshire Council by the site's owners, FCFM Group. The estate, which includes a top class 18-hole golf course, was owned by former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing, but was put up for sale after four of his businesses went into administration.

Now Matthew Potts, business growth and investment manager at the council, has written in support of the application, describing the opportunity to "create a truly national and international facility". He said: "I can advise that the economic growth service are fully supportive of the redevelopment of the existing site to support a new fully developed leisure, hotel and community facility.

How the lodges could look

"The proposal signifies the ability to offer a provision that will not only rejuvenate a currently disused golf course operation, but create a facility that supports to drive new visitors to a rural part of the county and support businesses within both the wider visitor economy sector and those benefitting the broader local community." FCFM said the new plans for the site could see 120 jobs created.


The proposals have been submitted to Shropshire Council in three sections. The first includes building a leisure and spa building, two swimming pools, a farm shop, a function room, restaurant and spa, an outdoor lido pool, tennis courts, bowling greens, a new nine-hole golf course and an 18-hole putting green. The second and third applications are for 135 and 140 holiday let lodges around the 354 acre estate.



The lodges are intended to be made from timber and "recessed into fairly extensive ground contouring". Mr Potts said the site could make a big contribution to the Shropshire economy, and provide jobs to keep people in the county. He said: "The visitor economy sector is one of the most significant within Shropshire and with the broad range of attractions available, high visitor numbers and the value that this brings to the Shropshire economy, this application provides a significant opportunity to support continued growth within this sector.

"This opportunity also has the potential to create a truly national and even international facility, supporting to develop Shropshire's position firmly on the map as a destination to visit and stay and delivering increased spend in this locality. "Key to this is also the site's ability to support the delivery of jobs from across a range of skill sets, reducing the need for residents to commute outside of the Shropshire area for employment." FCFM has said that the development would bring around GBP3.5 million in to the local economy each year.

Speaking when the plans were revealed the firm said: "We are hoping it will have a substantial economic impact. "The benefit to the local community is not only the jobs, it is the secondary impact from visitors who will go out for meals, go into towns and use local shops. There is not just the employment but the secondary impact too."

FCFM said that they hoped to secure planning permission by spring, and for a 12 to 15-month building programme to be concluded by the latter part of summer 2020.

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