18-hole golf course has its future secured

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 24, 2020 06:25

An 18-hole golf venue in Buckinghamshire, which was set to be sold to a developer that would have reduced the number of holes in order to build housing, has had its future secured following the local council’s intervention.

Windmill Hill Golf Course, owned by Milton Keynes Council and run by 1Life, was to be replaced with a new facility by private developer Evolve Project Management.

Its proposal, thanks to a partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association ,included building up to 125 new homes alongside indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a cricket centre, a gymnastics centre, a learner swimming pool, a soft play centre, a coffee outlet and a new nine-hole golf course layout.

Windmill Hill Golf Centre. Image from Facebook

However, councillor Elaine Wales has told the local press that she wants to see investment in Windmill Hill Golf Course and that the full 18 holes must be saved. She has added that she believes she that the developer has listened – and that the site will be invested in and redeveloped, but 18 holes will be retained.

She said: “We have long wanted to see investment in the golf course, but it was important to ensure that Windmill Hill retains an 18 hole golf course. I believe we have persuaded the developer to include an 18 hole golf course in any planning application to improve the site.

“I recently met with golfers at the course who told me they choose to play at Windmill Hill because it is an 18 green course. They love it.”

Milton Keynes Council says Windmill Hill currently loses a substantial amount of money. It has been a battleground for residents for years, with a plan to close the course and redevelop it all as housing defeated around 10 years ago.

Councillor Nigel Long added: “I first tried to secure investment in the golf course 25 years ago in 1995. It is not easy. We need to secure a radical investment plan for the course whilst retaining an 18 hole golf course.”

The council has plans to work with the Lawn Tennis Association and has secured millions in investment to develop a regional tennis performance centre on the site. However, the council had planned to reduce the course to nine holes and develop housing on some of the site.

Elaine Wales added: “I believe that this investment and partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association will secure the long term future of the facility, although I will be pushing for that protection to be cast iron if the plans are taken forward.”

This summer a golf club in Leeds also had its future secured following intervention by its local council.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 24, 2020 06:25
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