Golf clubs near Brighton under increased pressure due to housing shortage

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 13, 2019 16:07

Two golf courses in Sussex have an uncertain future following a proposed review of how a council uses its land.

This comes just a few weeks after one local golf club closed down to make way for housing, while another is in talks to go down the same route and one political party is proposing building housing on one of the golf courses.

Brighton & Hove City Council has revealed that memberships at its two golf courses, Waterhall and Hollingbury, which have both been leased since 2010 on a ten-year contract by social enterprise Mytime Active, have halved in the last nine years.

A report about the venues states: “The future of the courses needs serious consideration due to the challenging financial position experienced by the operator during the current contract.”

The report adds that the preferred option is to market both sites offering 25-year leases.

One or both would kept as a golf course with the potential for other uses such as outdoor activity and education centres, camping, glamping, a country visitors centre, or an events venue.

A second option is for another ten-year management contract as currently operated.

The third option is to operate both courses in-house.

A final option would be to market both courses on a long-term lease for golf only.

Both sites have financial challenges and the report found Hollingbury Park is better placed to continue as a golf course, as Waterhall has steep hills which make it unsuitable for electric golf buggies, reports Brighton & Hove News.

‘The report describes golf as in decline due to an oversupply of courses, it is an expensive game to play and takes four hours for an 18-hole round,’ the paper states.

‘There are another four golf clubs in Brighton and Hove, as well as many within a 15-mile radius.’

Nearby Hassocks Golf Club also closed down in March of this year to make way for a housing development.

During the recent city council elections the Liberal Democrats had a policy of building 1,500 houses on Hollingbury Park as part of its manifesto, but the party won no seats on the council.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 13, 2019 16:07
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2 Comments

  1. GEO Foundation July 15, 11:50

    This issue isn’t unique to Brighton. Public courses all over the world are finding solutions. There are over 40 case studies in our sustainable golf development guidelines for public facilities – http://bit.ly/PublicGolf

    Reply to this comment
  2. Pete USA July 18, 11:39

    It’s happening all over with fewer interested in golf, makes sense to turn them under and build homes. The golf game is ill conceived for the modern generation wanting a quick, affordable and enjoyable experience. Who has the time anymore, besides people are turning to other activities.

    Reply to this comment
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