Par 3 golf won’t return to Brooklands Park and toilets will be out of use for the entirety of the upgrade works which are expected to take until January 2023.
Speaking at a joint overview and scrutiny committee meeting of Adur and Worthing councillors on Thursday (27 January), executive member for digital and environmental services Ed Crouch said: “We’re not planning to reinstate the par three golf course.
“Golf courses are generally, from an environmental point of view, not particularly biodiverse.
“The last time I checked, over 1,000 plants and shrubs will be going into Brooklands and a significant amount of that planting will be in what is now the former par three golf course.”
He was responding to councillor Jon Roser (Lab, Selden) who said residents were ‘very keen to see the golf come back’.
Mr Crouch acknowledged that golfers would be ‘disappointed’ but said: “We have to make sure the park is for everybody.”
Brooklands is undergoing a £3 million regeneration project which will include a new café and toilets; an adventure play area; a contemplative garden with sensory plants; fitness trails; and space to hold community and environmental events.
Initial work to the lake and stream started two years ago with the remainder starting on Monday (24 January).
Works are expected to be complete in twelve months.
Toilets will be closed throughout
The council also confirmed that the Western Road car park and toilets will be shut for the entire 12 month period.
Rosey Whorlow (Lab, Central) questioned the decision and asked if temporary toilets could be installed.
“Whilst it’s expected that the toilets will be shut for some time when the work is undertaken, why will they then be shut for the whole year when all the other areas of the park will be opened to the public, and closed according to the phases of work being undertaken?” she asked.
Mr Crouch said the toilets will be closed for four weeks but won’t be reopened as they’re being demolished.
“Whilst I’m not discouraging people from visiting, it will be a building site,” he said.
Temporary toilets are not planned and Mr Crouch explained they had not been budgeted for – although he said he would keep the suggestion in mind.
Pest control under review
The executive member also faced questions about pest control at the park.
Sally Smith (Lab, Central) asked: “What action is being taken in areas where there are growing problems e.g. the increasing rat population?”
Mr Crouch said: “It’s an environmental health hazard that needs to be dealt with swiftly.
“There’s anecdotal reports of people actively feeding rats in some of our parks, as well as the national explosion that we have seen in rat populations.
“We have had a jolly good go with our previous contractor over the autumn but this doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect.
“Brooklands is particularly difficult because of its relationship with water so there’s a technical review ongoing at the moment to ensure that, when we get to the point of being able to tackle the issue, we’re not affecting non-target species.
“Clearly, no one’s going to thank us if, in dealing with the rat problem, we end up causing harm to other inhabitants of that park.”