A popular municipal golf club in North London has been told by the council that it will not be reopening for golfers on Monday March 29 when the sport is permitted to return to the country - but one local councillor is outraged by the decision, according to the Enfield Independent.
Whitewebbs Park Golf Course has reportedly lost more than £1 million over the past five years and Enfield Council has explained it would "irresponsible" to contine to operating the venue under taxpayers money moving forwards.
Joanne Laban, councillor for Highlands Ward in the London Borough of Enfield, claims to be appalled by the decision, especially with golf enjoying something of a boom right now during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Whitewebbs Park Golf Course is a much-loved asset in our borough, and it is outrageous that the Labour administration has decided to close the golf course with immediate effect, and with no consultation with residents," said Mrs Laban.
"The reaction of residents on social media to this decision shows the strength of feeling on this issue. This action, in my opinion, indicates that the Labour council has already decided that the golf course will not remain, and some other form of commercial activity will replace it in the future, which seems to also prejudge the process of the procurement."
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The golf course is expected to remain open for walkers, joggers and for other recreational use, but no golf will be permitted on the grounds.
An Enfield Council spokesperson said: "Whitewebbs Golf Course has been making a loss for a number of years, despite the introduction of measures designed to increase income and reduce costs at the site.
"Since 2014-15 the golf club has lost more than £1.1million. At a time of national crisis, when our priority is protecting all of our communities and providing support for our most vulnerable residents, it would be irresponsible and unsustainable to continue to use taxpayers’ money to subsidise an activity that is well provided for elsewhere across the borough, with six full-length courses and a pitch and putt course available for golfers in Enfield.
"We are currently in a marketing process which will determine the future of the Whitewebbs Golf Course site. This process requires – among other considerations – applicants to meet the needs of the council and the wider community and to increase community access to Whitewebbs for walking, recreation, leisure and other uses.
"Unfortunately, this process has been delayed because the coronavirus pandemic has affected the immediate priorities of the council and the applicants. However, Enfield Council will be in a position to announce the next steps shortly. In the meantime, whilst the course will be closed to golf, the site will remain open for walking, jogging and other recreational use.
"Any suggestion that the site will be used for housing or landfill are utter nonsense and scaremongering. In reality, the golf course has already been closed for a year, and this report is merely a formality."