Former world number one golfer Ian Woosnam was backing a bid to buy a Shropshire golf course that is under threat from plans to build almost 100 log cabins, documents submitted to Shropshire Council have claimed.

Earlier this year Coppergreen Leisure Resorts and club owner Ralph Tomley submitted a revised planning application to reduce Henlle Park Golf Club in Gobowen to nine holes, to accommodate a new 90-pitch holiday park on part of the parkland course.

It came months after a similar application for 120 caravans was rejected by Shropshire Council following a public backlash.

The reaction to the latest application has seen 178 objections received so far, with 29 comments in support of the plans.

But now documents published on the council's planning portal have claimed that the club’s owner turned down a bid in excess of the asking price which would have spared the golf course from development.

A letter to council planners from a business called Chinese Entrepreneurs Golf Club Ltd says the firm had been involved in a bid to buy the golf club, along with Ian Woosnam, who hails from St Martins, and ex professional Tony Minshall.

The letter from the company says: “My Chinese based investors made a bid for Henlle Golf Club which was far in excess of the asking price, we made our offer through Savills of Chester.

Border Counties Advertizer:

“I must object to this major development that is closing down another golf course.

“We also have a great relationship with The Ian Woosnam Golf Courses and Academies who were going to operate it for us.”

The applicants say the revised plans “overcome the reasons for refusal of the earlier scheme” and comply with the council’s development plan and national planning policy.

A statement prepared by planning consultancy firm Kembertons says membership of the golf club has reduced from 600 to around 300 since it first opened in 2003.

A separate statement submitted by Mr Minshall also says he was part of the bid and that he believes the course can be retained as an 18-hole offering.

He says: “As a director of a company involved in taking over a number of failing golf courses and turning them around, and running them profitably under the banner of ‘The Ian Woosnam Golf Academy’, we believe this club can be saved, and the 18-hole course retained with our management expertise.”

The club has been contacted for comment.

The planning application will be decided in due course by Shropshire Council.

Rejecting the previous application in March this year, planning officers said the scheme would affect the character of the area and “have a significant detrimental impact” on the non-designated Henlle Hall Park, the Grade II-listed Henlle Hall and the setting of sections of Offa’s Dyke which are scheduled monuments.

The applicants say the revised plans “overcome the reasons for refusal of the earlier scheme” and comply with the council’s development plan and national planning policy.