Last month, we featured an article from Deborah Sherry, chair of Woldingham Parish Council, about its community bid to purchase North Downs Golf Club.
Edward Richardson, chief executive of Get Golfing, has written in response:
“North Downs Golf Club is up for sale after a developer failed to get planning for development on the car park and clubhouse. Woldingham Parish Council is trying to raise £2.7m to buy and close the club, making a nature park and cafe instead. The 123-year-old club has played a significant part in the history of the village.
Councillor Sherry says the land is ‘under constant threat of development’. There is no evidence to support this claim. No planning has ever been sought on the course; many consider it scaremongering to help raise money for her vanity project. As she rightfully states, it is greenbelt, within an area of great landscape value and abuts the AONB – these are all red lights to any developer.
Get Golfing, a golf charity with eight sites, 250 staff, and a proven track record of success, wants to secure the future of the club. The good news for the residents of Woldingham is that the site would be secured without donations and the status quo would remain. Get Golfing is a self-funded operator with 5,500 members and annual revenues of £12m.
Get Golfing met the club members and the parish councillors to establish common ground. The club is supportive, but the council, without giving reason, are not. Get Golfing is making direct representations to the residents, so they are fully informed before making their decision on whether to financially support the closure and redundancies.”
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