According to the Birmingham Post, former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing has bought out his Birmingham, U.K.-based partners and is pressing ahead with plans to build a leisure resort around his countryside golf course.
The golf resort with 40 holiday homes will be located at Astbury Hall, his stately home near Bridgnorth, in south Shropshire. Also planned further down the line is a hotel, spa and another nine-hole course.
Downing said: “We have established a fantastic vision, secured planning permission, now we have a wonderful opportunity at The Astbury to deliver something truly world class for golf in the region.
“The Darren Clarke Village is going to be a unique opportunity for golfers to holiday alongside one of the best courses in the U.K.
“The plan is to put Shropshire on the golfing map – and it is starting to come to fruition.”
Downing personally designed the par-71 course, which measures more than 6,500 yards.
K.K., who is a founding member of the British heavy metal legends and was part of the group since 1969, announced his retirement from PRIEST in April 2011.
He later shot down as “inaccurate” reports that he left JUDAS PRIEST because he chose to concentrate on running the golf courses on his property.
In a recent interview with the “Rockin’ Metal Revival” Internet radio show, Downing stated about his decision to leave JUDAS PRIEST: “I thought I couldn’t remember the last time I saw the seasons change in England… you know, spring, summer, autumn and winter. [That was] one thing. But when I actually added everyting up, there was so many reasons, really, why I decided to not continue. Another reason is time does get shorter as you get older. When you get to a certain age, you start to think that things are zipping by, so it’s time to take a bit of a step back and think about spending a little bit of time with the family and stuff like that. Not exactly living a normal life, but just getting in tune with reality again. Because, as I say, it’s almost like an amazing fantasy world to live in the world that I had been living in. But it was time not to continue to be selfish and just put a bit of time into other people that have supported you over the years.”