Fight stepped up to save Sussex golf club from housing development
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Homes England wants to build up to 10,000 new homes on land west of Ifield – including Ifield Golf Club – and Horsham District Council has allocated an initial 3,000 homes there as part of its newly-released Local Plan.
Homes England says the golf course is surplus to requirements and says other golf facilities in the area are able to cope with any future demand.
But Denis Taylor, a long-standing member of Ifield Golf Club, said there was a danger of people being ‘hoodwinked’ by the evidence pack for the council’s Plan.
He said the strategic policy for the land west of Ifield was ‘not clearly written and unambiguous.’
He said: “Ifield should be retained because of its availability to a wide section of the community.”
He said the demand for golf in the area is increasing but other nearby golf clubs charged high fees which “would be out of reach by most Ifield members.”
Homes England say that improvements to other nearby golf courses ‘would be better aligned with future demand and more accessible to a wider proportion of the population’ and that the planned new housing development would include sports provision.
But, Denis Taylor, who has been a member at Ifield Golf Club for more than 50 years, said: “For these facilities to outweigh the loss of Ifield Golf course they would require a substantial import of visitors. Getting them there goes against the philosophy of the new neighbourhood being self-contained with a 15 minute walking or cycling journey time.”
Ifield Golf Club, he said, was currently easily accessible and was also the only golf club in the area which people could travel to by car, bicycle, foot, bus or train.
Comments on the Local Plan – which also include development proposals for land north west of Southwater and land east of Billingshurst – can be submitted to Horsham District Council from now until Friday March 1.
Representations will be presented for consideration by a Government-appointed planning inspector who will conduct a formal examination of the Plan.