Southwood Golf Course consultation

Take part in our online survey on the option to convert Southwood Golf Course into new natural open parkland.

Our proposals for Southwood

Golfers teeing off at Southwood Golf Course Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser windowWe are considering the possibility of converting Southwood Golf Course into new natural open parkland.

This would mean that the area would be opened up to become around 50 hectares of green space for all our residents to enjoy, replacing the golf course.

Together with Southwood Woodland and other green open space nearby, this would create a large country park area, offering activities including walking, cycling, trim trails, natural play structures and a community orchard.

Aerial view of Southwood Golf Course Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

About the golf course

The golf course was opened in the late 1970s as a nine-hole course and became an 18-hole course in 1988.

Most of the rounds of golf played there are by casual golfers and visitors and it is popular with those who use it. The club itself has around 175 members, of which about half live in Rushmoor.

In recent years, however, overall use of the golf course has reduced significantly from 40,000 to 25,000 rounds a year and it now costs the council about £40,000 a year to subsidise it.

There are a number of alternative golf courses within a ten-mile radius of Southwood where golfers can turn up and play without being members.

New green space, housing across the borough and town centre regeneration

The new natural parkland would become what is known as a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG).

Southwood Woodland As Rushmoor sits within the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area, which protects ground-nesting birds on local heathlands, housing developers must, by law, provide, or contribute towards, alternative green space for their residents to use before the council can grant them planning permission. These are called SANGs.

Locally, Southwood Woodland, Hawley Meadows and Rowhill Nature Reserve are already SANGs.

Permanent protection of land as green public open space

Being a SANG permanently protects the land as green public open space, meaning it would never be built on. It also means that we would use developers' contributions to pay for its creation and upkeep.

New homes and town centre regeneration

Importantly, Natural England says the SANG would allow us to grant planning permission for around 2,500 new homes to be built in Aldershot and Farnborough town centres and elsewhere across the borough, as identified in the Rushmoor Local Plan.

Town centre flats In turn, the new town centre homes, particularly flats above new shop units, would provide funding to help support the much-needed regeneration of the town centres themselves, as well as bringing new footfall to the areas. This will only be achievable if additional SANG space can be created.

We have looked for other land that could become a SANG, including working with neighbouring councils and other landlords, but because Rushmoor is so small and urban, our options are extremely limited.

Your views - online survey and drop-in sessions

Before our councillors make a decision on the option to turn Southwood Golf Course into natural open parkland, we would like your views.

Please complete our online survey to tell us what you think. 

Southwood Golf Course survey This link opens in a new browser window

Drop-in consultation sessions

We are also organising two drop-in consultation sessions. These will be at:

  • Southwood Community Centre on Tuesday 15 August, 3.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Southwood Golf Course on Tuesday 19 September, 3.30pm to 7.30pm

Our councillors will consider all views and comments before making a decision in the autumn.

Closing date

The consultation closes on Friday 22 September.

For more information, please contact us using the contact details on this page.

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