A golf club in Sussex was saved from closure in part because of the surge in attendance during the pandemic.
Last year, plans were unveiled to convert the municipal Rookwood golf course into 1,100 apartments.
However, after the Crawley observer, the plans received a local backlash which led the Horsham County Council to revise them several times, including reducing the number of homes, redesigning the program, and promising further green improvements. However, this did not stop an online petition against the ongoing development and has now exceeded 12,000 signatures.
The local council has now stated that it is not currently considering Rookwood for development in the local plan, in part because so many people are now playing golf.
Tony Hogben, Associate Director and Cabinet Officer, Communications, Horsham Town and Parking, said: “The council now has new leadership and improving our green spaces and public consultation is critical to building trust in our leadership.
“Not assigning Rookwood to the local schedule is a public desire at this point, after a year of golf activity on the rise. Your councilors have listened.
“It’s important that we get in touch with local groups and see how we can best use the community owned land in Rookwood. We aim to listen and engage for the next two years before making any longer term commitments about the future of Rookwood. ”
The decision follows a recent change in leadership with a new Council Chairman and Cabinet Member for Planning and Development, who was installed in May.
As the owner of the site, Horsham County Council plans to launch a more in-depth consultation to gather more ideas and better understand the needs of residents and users, according to the Crawley Observer.
As part of the new consultation, the entire site would be explored in more depth in order to explore a wider and more diverse range of potential leisure and recreational facilities that are not just limited to golf.
The council says Rookwood has “exceptional potential” to achieve benefits such as rewilding and upgrading the reserve, and is committed to protecting the unique environment there, including sustainability, biodiversity and the protection of native plants and wildlife To be “at the center of their thinking”.
However, the council also said that “the possibility of much-needed affordable housing on part of the site could also be considered in the future” but the principles of any future proposals would be to improve the green spaces and provide a site for wider community To provide use.
This is the latest of several urban golf clubs to be bailed out due to increased participation during the pandemic.
For example, Stockwood Park Golf Center and Bulwell Hall Golf Course both were slated for closure to save their local authorities’ money, but both have now been rescued, Pewit golf course not reopened in 2020, but in June 2021, and Camperdown Golf Course, a venue that a council decided to close in 2019, is now set to reopen.