Golf course makeover plans are yet to tee off

Little Hay golf course manager George Reid
Little Hay golf course manager George Reid

Plans to transform a Bovingdon golf course into a more challenging sporting venue attracting all levels of ability are still in the pipeline.

Little Hay’s manager George Reid says it is hoped the 18-month project will be given the go-ahead if revised proposals to use the area’s Upper Bourne End Lane as a transit route for lorries are agreed by Herts County Council.

The plans have been met with opposition by the Bovingdon community due to saftey concerns around the use of the lane, and the 295,000 cubic metres of inert waste material which would be used to create hills on the course.

UKIP’s Hemel Hempstead branch has promised backing to the residents in opposing the plans and says it has enlisted a planning expert to investigate their concerns.

But Mr Reid explained the course, currentl leased by the Dacorum Sports Trust which includes Sportspace, has not been remodelled since its creation in 1976 so is uninspiring for more skilled golfers.

The use of waste material – which would otherwise be sent to landfill – is not unusual, with several courses around the country making use of the recycling method.

If approved, Woodland Environmental would finance the estimated £1.7 million bill. The company, which has been drafted in to transport the waste, said the material ‘poses no risk to the community’.

Mr Reid said: “I do understand the residents’ concerns – I’ve got no issue with them. But although the course will look different, it will still be Green Belt and still be protected. This is all about the betterment of sports facilities in Dacorum – we are the only public golf course in the borough and if it wasn’t here people wouldn’t have access to golf at these prices.”

Bovingdon Action Group chairman Brad Gunn said: “The group has lots of different opinions. Some people don’t want this at all, and some are more concerned about the dumping and scale of the waste. We are working closely with both councils and hope to meet with Sportspace.”