Agenda item

Edwalton Golf Course Strategic Review

The report of the Director – Finance and Corporate Services is attached.


It was RESOLVED that:


a)               the detailed technical assessments that have been undertaken for the par 3 course be acknowledged, which conclude that the site could represent a good option for residential development subject to planning, although Cabinet direction is that it is retained at the present time as an important community facility;


b)               it was acknowledged that there is likely to be sufficient housing supply in Rushcliffe to 2038 without the need to allocate this site within the Greater Nottinghamshire Strategic Plan but that it be included in a pipeline of potential sites for future consideration as part of the Local Plan process, should the requirement for further sites arise, to be considered concurrently with the site as a community facility;


c)               further detailed design assessments for the driving range business case over the next period to establish if a standalone driving range could be delivered to provide a betterment to the golfing offer on-site be endorsed; and


d)               opportunities for ecological improvements and bio-diversity net gain on the main 9-hole course through improvement management and partnership working in line with the Council Climate Change Strategy objectives be explored. 


The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Business and Growth, Councillor Edyvean, presented the report of the Director – Finance and Corporate Services, providing an update on the Edwalton Golf Course (EGC) Strategic Review, since it was last considered by Cabinet in March 2021.


Councillor Edyvean reminded Cabinet of what a key asset EGC was to West Bridgford, and the need for continued good management of the facility.  The previous report had noted the decline in usage over the past decade, which had resulted in more recent annual loses; however, post lockdown has seen a rise in usage, with the facility now breaking even, which was welcomed. 


Councillor Edyvean confirmed that the site had been designated as a potential development site for some time; however, that had to be balanced against the green space that the course provided in an expanding urban environment.  In March 2021, Cabinet had approved the undertaking of a technical assessment of the site to establish if a development strategy was feasible, and Cabinet was advised that the result of the assessment had identified the need to keep some golf activity, with a possible enhanced offering of the development of a driving range, and the proposals had also been endorsed by the Communities Scrutiny Group.


Cabinet was reminded that although the site had been identified as potentially suitable for redevelopment that had to be balanced against the Council’s total forecast housing supply, which exceeded the Council’s requirement through to 2038. 


In conclusion, Councillor Edyvean confirmed that the recommendations in the report would safeguard the site from medium to long term development, whilst proposing to improve the current golf and leisure offering. 


In seconding the recommendation, Councillor Inglis stated that it was commendable that the Council had commissioned a report to identify the best use of EGC, which had evaluated all options.  The area was of great community and ecological value and by keeping and enhancing the golfing facilities, and undertaking proposed wilding, Cabinet noted that the site would be protected from additional housing as Rushcliffe’s quota had already been met up until 2038.


In conclusion, Councillor Inglis referred to this important community asset and hoped that local residents would be fully supportive of the proposals, and in turn that would encourage further increased usage in the future.


Councillor Brennan reiterated previous comments that the Borough already had planned housing provision, which exceeded its target and that it was important to consider other important factors, including the Council’s climate change commitments and the ecological impact of the development of any site.


Councillor Robinson stated that EGC was a key asset not just for West Bridgford but for the Borough and referred to its strategic importance in respect of its size and usage, and it was essential that the Council regularly reviewed all of its assets, to ensure that they provided the best value for money.  As previously mentioned, it was important to strike a balance between the need for housing and safeguarding community assets, and it was pleasing to have this reassurance from the report.  Cabinet was reminded that the report had looked at all options and it was encouraging that the recommendation was to retain the golf and leisure usage, for the benefit of everyone, especially given the extensive housing development surrounding the site.


In conclusion, Councillor Robinson reminded Cabinet that the Council would need to be mindful of future housing requirements; however, it was pleasing that the Council had identified its housing quota up until 2038. 

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