Environment top concern at Fairfield

Environment top concern at Fairfield
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Fairfield Golf and Sailing Club in Manchester, England, has completed a major course renovation project, in collaboration with Scottish architect Richard Le Sueur and contractor Souters Sports.

The project involved the construction of several new holes and improvements to many of the existing ones. The new-look course, which has been increased to par 71 from 68, will open next spring.

The club has worked with its landowner United Utilities to extend the lease for a further 50 years and make available an extra 16 acre parcel of land. Part of the land brought into use was a vacant former reservoir which had been attracting anti-social behaviour. United Utilities plans to develop more of the vacant land to include a hotel and conference centre and a small retail element.

“As the architect for the project, Richard took a flexible approach to the design enabling the scheme to evolve over the course of the project and it was a pleasure to work with him,” said Paula Steer, head of property at United Utilities Property Solutions.

The Fairfield expansion required club, landowner and consultants to work closely to overcome environmental issues before planning consent was granted. “The project start was deferred for months and a considerable amount of resources went into overcoming any potential negative impact on the sites environment,” said Souters’ golf development manager Todd Jerome. “To protect the great crested newts, we followed avoidance measures, erected newt fencing and conducted trapping andrelocation throughout the project. We also created wetlands and ponds as part of the golf design and constructed newt hibernacula with the aim of creating a long term, sustainable habitat with the potential to actually increase the newt population.”

To address concerns that three of the new holes were built on a landfill site, with the potential of asbestos, Souters imported tested topsoil, and measured all surface coverage levels.