Members of Batchworth Park Golf Club are leading the fight to ensure the green belt landscape won’t be subject to a major development.
A fundraiser has been started as club members look to generate £500,000 to help pay the legal fees as a dispute over the leasing of the land rages on.
Club members claim they hold a lease over the property for the next 73 years, and are “locked in serious, protracted, and complicated legal fight to prove our rights” with landowners Crown Golf.
A spokesperson for the members action group said: “This bitter battle is the first line of defence against the eventual loss of this precious open space in [our] neighbourhood. The members have already spent nearly £250,000 out of their own pockets and we continue to dig deep. We know we can win with the resources to keep going.”
Members allege that the owners wish to sell the property and offer up the land for a development of more than 600 homes to be included in the Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) Local Plan.
The group said: “The local community would not only lose an irreplaceable rural asset but would be forced to endure years of unbearable construction activity with heavy construction traffic disruption to already congested local roads, noise, dust, and all that associated nuisance.”
Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Deputy Leader of TRDC and lead member for the Local Plan, said: “Batchworth Golf Course is being promoted for inclusion in the Local Plan by the landowner, not the council. However, no decisions have been made at this stage on which sites will be included in the draft Local Plan that will be submitted to the government inspector for approval.
“Once councillors have decided which sites will be in the draft Local Plan, that we are bringing forward with a much-reduced housing figure than the government has said the council must come up with, residents, businesses and other stakeholders will be consulted before it is submitted to the government.”
You can support the fundraiser here.
Crown Golf has been contacted for comment.
Photo credit: Batchworth Park Golf Club