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PGS: Golf Courses

The following factors should be taken into account when considering applications for the construction of new courses or major alterations to existing ones.

  1. Above all, there must be a good case for the need and benefits of the proposed development. It is only with this information that acceptance of negative environmental aspects can be decided.
  2. Special attention should be paid to the impact of the built part of any planning application including access roads and car parking as well as the various buildings proposed. It is essential that these be described in the planning application in unambiguous terms.
  3. Wherever possible, new courses should be sited on urban fringes or as near as possible to existing settlements in order to minimise car movements and changes in the character of the surrounding countryside
  4. Golf courses ought not to be developed in areas of very prominent landscape features in the AONB or adjacent areas such as scarp slopes, ridges or high plateaux. Establishment on high grade agricultural land should also be avoided.
  5. New courses should be designed wherever possible to minimise changes in the topography of the land, especially important if restoration is required should the course become no longer viable.
  6. Maintenance of the 'rough' should be based on a regular annual cycle designed to provide a balance between the needs of the course and local conservation objectives for plants and wildlife.
  7. Arrangements for the supply of irrigation water and amounts will normally be agreed between the applicant and the local water authority, but it should always be a condition that supply, either from the public utility or through extraction will not penalise unreasonably other established needs.
  8. Care should be taken to protect existing rights-of-way network and archeologically important landscapes
  9. Applicants should be able to show their commitment and ability to undertake restoration in cases where a course has to be closed due to its being no longer viable.

Revised May 2013


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The Chiltern Society Planning Group monitors all parishes in the Chilterns.