Campaigns launched to prevent two more former golf courses becoming housing estates

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 13, 2022 11:38

Residents and some local councillors near two golf clubs that closed down in recent years are campaigning to ensure the green spaces are not converted into housing.

The actions are highlighting the risk that golf courses that close down could ultimately be concreted over, which has been a growing trend in recent years.

Campaigners in Leicester have written to the city mayor to save the former Western Park Golf Course from becoming a huge housing development.

The former course, which closed for financial reasons in 2015, is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds of prey, and many in the surrounding neighbourhoods use it daily to exercise, walk their dogs or just escape into nature.

However, the area has been earmarked for around 466 homes, employment and gypsy and traveller pitches in Leicester’s Draft Local Plan, and city mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, has said the council is under ‘enormous pressure’ to find such sites for housing.

One campaigner, Anna Baker, said: “I know they have housing targets they have to reach, but there are so many brownfield sites in Leicester and Leicestershire to do that. So are there not other options for them to do that rather than to lose this green space? Once it’s lost, it’s lost. There’s no coming back from that.”

She added many people in the campaign group would be happy to help the council look after the area as volunteers, if it was saved.

Another, Steve Walters, added: “The golf course is a picturesque space with ponds, a variety of trees and so much wildlife. It’s a green oasis and that’s how it should be kept.

“I can’t believe anyone could walk that golf course and come away not thinking it’s a special case. Yet someone has walked it and thought ‘hmm, this is a good place to build’. I just don’t know how they’ve come up with that.”

Another campaigner, Susan Bywater, said the green space needs saving from what she sees as the destruction of nature. “It would make so much more sense to revamp lots of places like this rather than totally remake in urban areas as that would take many years to establish,” she said.

“Whatever land there is needs to be used wisely. And yes, of course we also need houses but put those on brownfield sites and weigh up the position carefully between land for housing versus land for parks.”

Meanwhile, Approach Golf Course, which effectively closed in 2018, could be given town green status by North Somerset Council to protect it from development for future generations.

Town and village green status can be given to pieces of land where it can be proved that it has been used for recreation and ‘lawful sports and pastimes’ for 20 years.

North Somerset Council executive member for placemaking and development Councillor Mark Canniford said: “Although North Somerset is making the application, and will rule on it, it still has to go through an internal process.

“There will also be a consultation process and the chance for people to raise any objections. This is an important green space in North Somerset and enjoyed by many people.

“It is only right that it should be protected for the future. I would also like to see it improved for recreational purposes and the land made as accessible as possible to everyone.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 13, 2022 11:38
Write a comment

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

Let me tell You a sad story ! There are no comments yet, but You can be first one to comment this article.

Write a comment
View comments

Write a comment


Join Our Mailing List

Read the latest issues

Advertise With Us

For editorial enquiries in the magazine or online, contact:

For advertising enquiries in the magazine or online, contact: