IMPROVEMENTS to a popular golf club on the outskirts of Chester have been given the go-ahead.

Plans had been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council to revamp the driving range at Vicars Cross Golf Club on Tarvin Road, along with other facility upgrades.

The proposals included a 285-yard driving range, graded to slope towards golfers to improve visibility of the ball; target greens along the length of the driving range, additional covered golf teeing off points and teaching bays, tree planting, a sustainable drainage system, a chipping green area with bunkers and green and a wetland area created from an existing drainage ditch.

Applicants Appletons, on behalf of Booth Ventures Limited, said the current look of the driving range was "in average condition, with areas of waterlogging, distance markers and relatively flat topography. This does not offer a technical challenge to golfers with no target greens or hazards." In addition, there were a limited number of teeing off points.

As part of the plans, the driving range would be reprofiled by the importation of dry, inert fill material, together with an extension to the existing driving range building and improvements to an existing maintenance access road by the provision of widening and resurfacing.

The applicants said: "The proposals will create a new, premium driving range facility over a length of 285 yards (260m) with target greens. This will vastly improve the quality and capacity of the driving range facility available for members and visitors. A chipping green area has also been included as part of the proposal, giving the club an additional area for golfers to practise.

"The extension to the existing range building along with specialist teaching bays will allow for more people to use the range and an improved user experience. With improved facilities, the golf club hopes to attract new members across Cheshire and allow people to engage in a healthy, outdoor activity."

Club support manager Gavin Anderson, in a letter to the planning officer at CWaC, added Vicars Cross Golf Club had been "very pro-active in encouraging increased participation and membership in the game", citing club initiatives such as working with local schools on providing golf lessons, as well as providing membership packages to younger people and encouraging more female golfers.

Mr Anderson added: "The work that Vicars Cross Golf Club does in encouraging new participants to the game would be significantly enhanced with an improvement to their driving range and associated facilities, which would not only benefit them and the community around them, but also the national golfing landscape.

"Based on their successful track record in this area, it will be exciting to see what more they can achieve in developing the game should they be successful with this application."

The council approved the plans subject to conditions, one of which was the provision of an electric vehicle charging point to be installed at the golf club site.