Chairman’s Newsletter 023

Wednesday 28th October 2020


Dear Member,

The Trustees and I would encourage all members to write to the Horsham District Council Planning Officer at Horsham District Council, Chart Lane, Horsham RH13 5AA either by letter or email, at yoursay@horsham.gov.uk in respect of the Homes England recent submission of Scoping Opinion application and an A1 Environmental Impact Assessment  (EIA) /20/0004. There is no formal consultation with members of the public in EIA or Scoping Opinions, but don’t let that put you off. In the document submitted by Homes England which can be found on the HDC web site, it states the following:

12.4.12 The proposed Development will involve the redevelopment of Ifield Golf Club. Ifield Golf Club is a private member’s golf club located on the west side of Crawley within Horsham District Council boundary.

12.4.13 There are two other golf clubs within 5 km of the proposed Development. These are Rusper Golf Club to the north west and Cottesmore Golf Club to the south. Both clubs charge a similar amount for annual membership fees. Cottesmore Golf Club, like Ifield, is a member of the Sussex County Golf Union. There are currently 61 golf clubs that make up the Sussex Union.

12.4.14 According to the governing body for amateur golf, England Golf, Golf club membership is on the rise in England. The biennial survey paints a positive picture for golf club membership in England. Since the 2016 survey, average membership numbers per club, per annum is up by 24. In 2016, the average number was 460 and in 2018 that is up to 484.

[Worth noting as an aside that Ifield is currently 557.] 

Write to the Officer, pointing out the false and misleading information in the HE documents, namely:

  1. Rusper has closed.

  2. Cottesmore owners plan to seek planning for housing on their golf courses and have advised members of impending closure.

  3. Horsham Council have publicised their plans for closure of Rookwood golf course for housing development.

  4. Also point out that Effingham Park golf club some 5 miles away has also closed and not likely to reopen.

  5. Redhill and Reigate golf club closed 2 years ago leaving a big gap in the market to the north of Ifield.

  6. Another possible closure is Haywards Heath who have been informed by their landlord that he will not renew their lease in 2022.

  7. HE correctly point out that demand for golf is increasing and memberships on the rise.  Clearly, the need for Ifield Golf Club as a community sporting facility is more pressing than ever.

  8. Quote National planning policy framework (NPPF) Paragraph 97. No assessment of sport and recreation buildings and land has been undertaken by HE. Therefore, no conclusions can be drawn about the club being surplus to requirements, as their scoping main report para. 12.4.13 implies. This assessment is a fundamental, basic requirement of planning policy and the Local planning authority should insist that HE carries this out now.

It is becoming obvious to all golfers locally that in a couple of years from now, there will be a dearth of choice for a game of golf, or indeed membership of a club in the Crawley area. We must make sure that Horsham Planning know this and view any planned removal of Ifield golf course as counter to their need to retain sports opportunities for the population.

Richard Cowlard


Ifield Golf Club


“The sale of the land owned by Ifield Golf Club Limited to Homes England [“the first phase” – Ed] has not yet been completed as there are a number of issues regarding retention which must be sorted” ~ Richard Cowlard – October 28 2020