Work set to go ahead to stop Royal North Devon from falling into the sea

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 18, 2019 11:34

Work to stop one of the world’s oldest golf clubs from falling into the sea is set to go ahead.

Royal North Devon Golf Club, which was established in 1864, has, in recent years, seen coastal erosion behind the seventh green and sea water flooding to the eighth green, and there are now predictions that both greens will disappear if nothing is done.

Last year we reported on Storm Eleanor, which ripped 49 feet of land away from behind the eighth tee and during the same winter, 20 feet of sand dune beside the seventh green was also washed away.

Royal North Devon’s 8th hole is falling into the sea

That green is now only about 35 feet from the edge of the erosion. Torridge District Council has approved the golf club’s plans for a replacement eighth hole, tee and green, new ninth hole tees and amendments to the seventh hole green.

The plans would see small-scale landscaping required to the north of a former now disused green to return the seventh green to a playable condition. Two bunkers are proposed, one to the south east and one to the south west of the green.The eighth proposed green is situated on the disused landfill site and it is proposed to be capped with between 0.5 and one metres of sand being applied to all playing areas. On the ninth hole, the northern side of the green will be retained as existing, but some small-scale landscaping is required to the south-east of the green to increase the green size. The existing bunker to the north of the green will be a grassy hollow and the eastern greenside bunker will be removed.And anew bridge is proposed to allow easy access at times of coastal flooding. The bridge will accommodate golfers with trollies, grass cutting machinery and golf carts.

A statement submitted with the application,  says: “These changes are required due to the continued erosion. Independent advice suggests that this erosion will continue and eventually the greens will be lost.

“Once the new holes are open and in play the old greens will be stripped of turf and landscaped to look natural.”

The report to Torridge planners says: “The changes proposed to the golf course are required due to the impact that coastal erosion will have on the course. As the proposal relates to minimal works to an existing golf course at this location, they cannot reasonably located elsewhere and therefore the principle of the proposal is considered acceptable.”

The report though does say the plans are likely to have a limited life, and further movement of holes and tees will be required in the future.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 18, 2019 11:34
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