Business

Drive to turn offices in Plymouth listed building into virtual golf centre

Offices inside a Grade II* Plymouth building could be turned into a virtual golf centre as architects look for new uses for a space that has been unused for more than three years.

Plymouth architecture and construction consultancy The Bailey Partnership has submitted documents to Plymouth City Council seeking permission to change offices in the Millfields “gated community” into a hi-tech golf centre for client The Caddy Club.

The application, open for comments until June 1, envisages the ground floor space turned into a corporate playground, with food and drink available for indoor golfers.

The plan would see offices and meeting rooms ripped out to make way for five “golf bays”, with a reception area and small bar included too.

How an office room could be converted into a virtual golf bay inside Lyster Court, The Millfields, Plymouth

Each bay would be equipped with a screen and artificial grass and a Planning, Heritage and Design and Access Statement said: “The application seeks to change the use of the ground floor of Lyster Court, from office use to a virtual golf centre and associated parking.

“The centre will be operating on a booking and membership basis, available for hire for private functions and corporate events.

“Limited food and bottled drink will be available for patrons, nevertheless this element will be ancillary to the leisure use.”

The Lyster Court, is in Craigie Drive, at The Millfields, the former Royal Naval Hospital in Stonehouse, that was redeveloped in the late 1990s.

The Millfields site is a mixed-use “gated community”, comprising residential and commercial space. The application site lies within the ground floor of Lyster Court which forms part of the Grade II* listed Quadrangle, which is located within The Millfields Conservation Area.

The design statement said the offices have been vacant since Bailey Partnership took the lease on December 1, 2017. The Bailey Partnership said the proposal would “perform a social and economic role” through creating direct and indirect employment in the long term, and in the short term, through the creation of employment during the construction phase.

The firm said money would return to the economy through the purchase of local services during construction and subsequent operation of the site and that the proposals secure the optimum viable use of the site bringing the listed building back into active use after a period of inactivity.

Drive to turn offices in Plymouth listed building into virtual golf centre

Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has more than a decade’s experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. He is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.

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It said it is clear from the evidence submitted that the proposals will not result in substantial harm to the listed building and that to ensure the amenity of existing and future residents is safeguarded, parking will be provided directly outside of the site, away from residential use.

It said that “Whilst additional parking is available on the other side of the building, outside of office hours, it is anticipated that if any additional patrons arrive after office hours they will park in spaces located by the entrance of The Millfields, where it is unrestricted by time. In effect, the Bailey Partnership spaces will only be used in rare cases once all of The Caddy Club’s spaces have been taken.”

The documents submitted to the council said food and drink will be available at the venue and will be limited to sandwiches and bottle drinks for patrons only and that: “This food and drink element is ancillary to the leisure use.”

It is proposed that the venue will be open seven days a week from 10am to 11pm, but reserved for private functions and corporate events only on Mondays and Saturday evenings.

The documents said: “There are significant social, economic and environmental benefits resulting from the proposals, which carry substantial weight in its favour. Accordingly, we respectfully request that the proposals should be approved without delay.”



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