A new housing estate could be built on the Canterbury Golf Club property as the bosses want to raise more than £ 3 million.
Up to 14 acres on the site on Littlebourne Road, Canterbury, has been suggested by the club bosses in the hope that the council can designate it for more than 100 homes.
The municipality is currently considering a number of locations for inclusion in its new local plan, which specifies where major housing developments are to be built across the district.
If the golf course lot is included, it will likely be sold to a developer with the money generated going to fund the construction of a new clubhouse.
Director Robin Whiting said, “We just stick our toes in the water at this stage to see what is possible.”
The golf course was bought by the club from the Department of Defense in 2014 and now covers almost 200 hectares.
A proposal was made to develop a plot of land that would include the existing driving range and golf academy.
Canterbury Golf Club Director Robin Whiting
Mr Whiting says the majority of club members “broadly support” the idea, which could raise more than £ 3 million to build the new clubhouse.
“The current pre-war building is pretty dated and a new one would have the potential to generate more revenue and be available to nonmembers for things like functions,” he said.
“It’s not the kind of money we have because we’re a member club and whatever we make goes back into the course – like the £ 100,000 we recently spent on drainage.
“Of course it is still at the very beginning, but a redesign of the course and a realignment of the driving range would have to take place. But we are not yet in the stage to speak to any developers or the like.”
The land could have more than 100 homes, but Mr. Whiting says the club will not support development that would harm the golf course.
The area with driving range and golf academy could be expanded
Bosses say they have worked hard to conserve the country’s biodiversity and have a detailed plan to protect and improve it.
However, they argue that the driving range and surrounding area are “brownfield” land that does not fall under the Site of Special Scientific Interest designation, which applies to much of the local area.
Any reconfiguration of the course could involve relocating the 18th hole and finding a new location for the driving range.
The club submitted its proposal in March and is still waiting for the outcome.
It may not be the only development on the property as the club faces the prospect of a new city bypass through the course.
The bypass road could cut through the golf course
Initial drawings of a preferred route appear to show the controversial road that runs through the golf club’s land and connects Sturry with the A2 at Bridge.
“The first we heard about it was when we saw the card, so it was quite a shock,” Whiting said.
“As it looks on the drawing, the road leads directly onto our 18th fairway.
“I would hope that since we would be affected by this, the Council will at least talk to us about it.
“I am not saying that it is not possible because there is land on the edge of the site that could accommodate a road, but we hope to have a consultation as this could influence our own ideas as well.”