Controversial Stocks clubhouse is unveiled

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A CONTROVERSIAL new clubhouse has been officially unveiled at Stocks Golf Club following years of wrangles.

Residents and Aldbury Parish Council fought to stop the clubhouse being built on the grounds it would be a ‘blot on the landscape’ and cause traffic chaos.

But planning chiefs did not agree and building work was completed earlier this year with a celebratory champagne reception on May 11.

In a statement the members only club said: “The new build has been constructed sympathetically, resulting in minimal visual impact upon the immediate and surrounding landscape.

“The new clubhouse has become seamlessly integrated into the existing golf course and local community.”

The building includes a lounge area and bar, function room, changing and shower facilities, car park and large outdoor sun terrace with ‘panoramic views’.

General manager Bob James said: “The new clubhouse will provide our members with a superb facility, located on a highly acclaimed golf course.”

The original clubhouse was closed in 2005 when Stocks Hotel was turned into a private residence by the entrepreneur Peter Harris and the golf course was hived off.

The club describes itself as exclusive with annual fees of up to £2,100 with prospective members facing an interview and an assessed round of golf.

Nick Edlin, chairman of Aldbury Parish Council, said: “The parish council along with a number of residents objected.

“We objected on the scale of the building. It did seem far larger than it otherwise needed to be for its present purposes.”

Previously Stocks was known as the UK’s ‘Playboy Mansion’ when Playboy executive Victor Lownes owed it during the 1970s.