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Developer believes Fornham All Saints leisure resort could attract 50,000 visitors to Bury St Edmunds




A developer says a Fornham St Genevieve hotel, health club, spa and golf facility is ‘at a crossroads’.

David Harris, of M&D Developments, believes his All Saints resort could help to attract 50,000 visitors a year to Bury St Edmunds if long-term plans for the leisure complex come to fruition.

The developer’s vision includes doubling the number of hotel rooms, adding two tennis courts and a pickleball court, building apartments for sale or rent and adding 15 holiday lodges to a corner of the golf course.

David Harris of M&D Developments. Picture by Mecha Morton
David Harris of M&D Developments. Picture by Mecha Morton

The holiday lodge proposal has undergone extensive modifications, reducing from an original application for 70 lodges to 35, 22 and now 15, located on a smaller plot.

The changes reflect feedback from the planning inspector when dismissing an appeal for a previous application for 35 lodges.

The latest application has, so far, attracted two public comments – one in support and one objection – while Fornham St Martin cum St Genevieve Parish Council is yet to discuss the matter.

All Saints Hotel golf course. Picture by Mecha Morton
All Saints Hotel golf course. Picture by Mecha Morton

Elizabeth Hodder, of Rectory Meadow, Fornham All Saints, said: “The applicant has reduced the scale and impact of the proposed lodges considerably and they are now located out of sight of residents of Fornham All Saints, a major consideration in the original application.

“It is to be hoped the plans will enable the business to continue to enhance the golf course for the benefit of the residents who enjoy its diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna and its views.”

Leon Jones, of Pigeon Lane, Fornham All Saints, said it was ‘disconcerting’ to realise it was the fifth planning application for holiday lodges at the site.

He added that the decisions to refuse previous applications set a precedent that such a development should be rejected.

The golf course. Picture by Mecha Morton
The golf course. Picture by Mecha Morton

But Mr Harris said he hoped the latest lodges proposal – which is one component of the wider vision – could win approval from West Suffolk Council planners.

“Long-term, we are at a crossroads. We have spent five-and-a-half years understanding where we want to take the business and now we believe we are about half-way to where it could be,” said Mr Marsh.

“£10 million investment is required to get things where we want. The apartments – which were turned down on a matter of policy – would have helped us to bring forward all our plans quickly.

All Saints Hotel. Picture by Mecha Morton
All Saints Hotel. Picture by Mecha Morton

“This is all about providing something really good – we think we have got the basis to take All Saints to another level.”

A consultation closes on July 15. For more information, go to planning.westsuffolk.gov.uk and use planning reference DC/21/1142/FUL.

i Fornham St Martin cum St Genevieve Parish Council will discuss the holiday lodges application at its meeting on July 8, at 7.30pm at Fornham St Martin Village Hall.

Email comments to clerk Vicky Bright at fsmsgpc@gmail.com due to Covid restrictions limiting numbers.

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