Waterhall Golf Course 'will definitely close' for 'rewilding'

Published on by Jack Oliver (author)

The view from Hollingbury, one of the courses whose future is uncertain (photo: )
The view from Hollingbury, one of the courses whose future is uncertain

'Waterhall [Golf Course] will definitely close in one way or another and get used for rewilding' said Hollingbury Golf Club Captain Steve Garrioch speaking to BBN.

Councillors from the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture (TECC) Committee will meet on Thursday (16th) to discuss the fates of two of Brighton's golf courses, Waterhall and Hollingbury.

Although the courses are council-owned, they are currently under private management. Both courses have their leases expire at the end of March.

Pressure has been applied from climate activist group Extinction Rebellion who wish to see the land used for a rewilding project, where the area is able to develop naturally with little human interference, in an attempt to encourage biodiversity.

They have put forward a petition, accruing over 5000 signatures, which called for a 'full public consultation' and an assessment of the 'environmental resources' of the areas.

Extinction Rebellion held protests in Brighton last weekend, as part of their 'Demonstrate for the Downs' campaign, which saw them begin a march at Hollingbury Hillfort, adjacent to Hollingbury Golf Course.

Mr Garrioch felt that their demonstration 'wasn't right for what they were trying to achieve'.

'In general I personally feel there's enough rewilding within the golf course anyway, and around us, all around the golf course on the South Downs and the national park as well, there's plenty of green area there anyway.'

He also said that Extinction Rebellion claimed that Hollingbury Golf Course uses 'harmful chemicals', but removed the claim off their website when confronted on the matter.

However, he feels 'very hopeful' about a bid for Hollingbury, which he claims will be 'bringing a lot more to it', but was not at liberty to disclose details.

Two petitions have also been put forward to the TECC Committee, advocating for the Golf Courses to remain open, with these obtaining over 2000 signatures in total.

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