A petition to save Great Denham Golf Club has received over 1,700 signatures since it was launched on Friday (3 July).
The club is due to close on 16 October when the current leaseholder’s tenure expires.
In a phone conversation between Kempston Rural councillor, Jim Weir and Bidwells, the agent for the landowners, it was confirmed that the land will be given over to livestock grazing or hay production but has the potential for future residential development.
In response, Cllr Weir has set up the petition, saying, “Residents of Great Denham and the whole of Bedford Borough please support us in trying to reverse the landowner’s decision to close the club and prepare the land for housing development.
“A great community sporting and open green space facility is in grave danger of being lost.
“We need your support thank you. We ask the Borough Council to ensure that all the policies regarding “Urban Open Space” & “Urban Gap” are reinforced and strengthened to ensure this open space is not lost to residential development.”
You can sign the petition here.
Great Denham Golf Club was opened in 1999 as part of a Section 106 agreement between the landowners and Bedford Borough as a requirement to build the first phase of a new housing development.
That development is now the community of Great Denham.
The golf course provides a large urban green space that both residents of Great Denham and Biddenham can enjoy. The land acts as a buffer between the two communities and avoids what would otherwise be an urban sprawl.
Part of the requirement of the s106 agreement was that the golf club had to be inclusive and anyone could pay and play seven days per week.
There are over 30,000 rounds of golf played at the club each year and it is home to the largest senior’s section of any club in Bedfordshire with over 100 members playing each week.
The golf course land is a protected “Urban Green Space” and is also designated as an “Urban Gap” to provide a buffer between the two communities of Great Denham and Biddenham. There are a number of policies that are in the Bedford Borough Local Plan (2030) and the saved policies from Allocations & Designated Local Plan Policies (2013).
The issue will be discussed at Great Denham Parish Council’s monthly public meeting this evening, which can be viewed here on Zoom. The meeting ID is 859 1105 7796 and the password is 167457.