MAJOR expansion plans for The Mere Golf Resort and Spa are being backed by Cheshire East planners.

The club’s plans include providing additional bedrooms, conferencing and clubhouse floorspace, extending the stable block (spa) to provide additional leisure and spa facilities, creating a tennis hut and golf starter hut, providing more parking and extra landscaping and redeveloping The Cube ground store.

The scheme includes extending the main hotel to provide an additional 64 bedrooms, 41 of which would be located in the new extension, giving the hotel a total of 145 bedrooms.

There are 325 parking spaces on site, and the plans, following amendments, propose an additional 49 spaces.

The access points to the site would remain as existing, with two accesses off Chester Road.

During the process of the application discussions have taken place with consultees, and a series of amendments has been submitted.

The scheme is recommended for approval by next Wednesday’s meeting of the Cheshire East Northern Planning Committee.

Mere Parish Council welcomed the investment in the area the Mere Resort was prepared to make.

The council said: “Due to economic circumstances changing dramatically Mere Parish Council now supports the proposal which will enhance Mere and provide more local employment.

“However, the parish council still has serious concerns regarding the lack of parking.

“There is ample parking for the extra bedrooms but not enough for the overflow on the conference facilities, spa and golf members and the anticipated increase in business.

“Mere Parish Council has had discussions with the management and proposers and have been assured they have permanent contingency plans to cover this problem.”

A 335-signature petition on was entitled ‘Stop the proposed cutting down of trees and protect The Mere’s ecosystem’.

Many of the signatures were from abroad, and there were nine letters of objection and 22 of support.

The objectors’ concerns included traffic increase, increased demand for more parking, noise pollution, loss of privacy, trees, habitat and wildlife and overdevelopment of the site.

A report to the committee said: “The application proposes a strong economic case for the development, which will enhance the tourism offer and contribute to the Cheshire East economy.

“The proposals have been amended to address concerns in relation to residential amenity, trees, ecology and heritage.

“Following an assessment of the proposals along with the business case, it is considered that the social and economic benefits arising from the proposed development clearly outweigh the identified harm.

“As such the very special circumstances required to justify a grant of planning permission are considered to exist in this case.”

The report said key concerns raised by consultees had been resolved, and recommended the plans be approved subject to conditions and referral to the Secretary of State for a final decision.