Out! Andy Murray set to lose £500,000 as High Court quashes plans for golf club
Another major loser will be the unique chalklands of the Leatherhead Downs, which some feel may never recover from the damage already done by the developers
Friday 30 August 2013
His victory at Wimbledon might have earned him £1.6m in prize money– not to mention the hearts of a grateful nation – but Andy Murray could soon find himself £500,000 out of pocket after a botched investment in an exclusive Surrey golf course.
The Beaverbrook Golf Club would have been the 141st course in the county, where Murray lives with his girlfriend, Kim Sears, but 10 days ago a High Court judge quashed the planning permission granted to developers Longshot Ltd.
The firm must now restore the course site to its original condition, unless it lodges a successful appeal. The cost, thought to be hundreds of thousands, will be added to legal costs and loss of income if the course is not built.
Advertising mogul Sir Frank Lowe also invested £250,000 in the project, which planned to turn the home of the late press baron Lord Beaverbrook, Cherkley Court near Leatherhead, into a hotel and spa, with the golf course.
But another major loser will be the unique chalklands of the Leatherhead Downs, which some feel may never recover from the damage already done.
Mole Valley District Council allowed the project last year against the advice of its planning officers and warnings from environmental experts. Local campaigners challenged the decision in the High Court and won.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave found the council’s decision to grant planning permission on such an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was perverse, and that the council had “erred in law”.
The requirement to restore the site arises because Longshot decided to carry on as if its planning permission were unassailable, and cleared meadows. Environmental law specialist Richard Buxton, for the campaigners, obtained legal undertakings from Longshot to undo any damage if it lost. “It is particularly gratifying having the court so explicitly recognising that what may be profitable for developers is not necessarily in the public interest,” he said.
Longshot said it was“amazed” and “appalled” at the ruling. The judge denied leave to appeal, but the firm is expected to try anyway.
Professor David Hawksworth CBE, a former Council of English Nature member and a local resident, said there should have been no “physical disturbance or spraying” without “scientific assessment” of the site by skilled specialists.
John Northcott, portfolio holder of planning at Mole Valley District Council, said: “We will now need to take time to consider what our next steps will be.”
- 1 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 3 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...