OCTOBER 17 2021 – ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE – IFIELD GOLF CLUB [SUBMISSION TO HORSHAM DISTRICT COUNCIL FROM THE IFIELD SOCIETY]

Ifield Golf Course

 

Re: Application for Asset of Community Value status for Ifield Golf Course, Rusper Road

I write as co-founder of The Ifield Society to support the above which has been submitted to HDC by Rusper Parish Council.

The Ifield Society is a local group established in 2001 and is dedicated to the protection of the ancient Parish of Ifield for present and future generations..

Ifield Golf Course (IGC) is a key asset within the Parish for the following reasons:

  • It provides opportunities for networking and connections in that it brings members of the local community together. The Club has an increasing membership drawn from within and outside of Crawley. This is demonstrated by the use of the Club car park which frequently reaches full capacity especially at weekends.

  • It provides opportunities for physical activity or leisure or health activities. Obviously this is a prime reason for the Golf Club’s existence with a round of golf being a valuable form of exercise for people who might, otherwise, not take any physical exercise.

  • It provides opportunities for continuous learning and self improvement through education, training courses, access to information etc. The Club has a full time golfing professional who is available for tuition and training. In addition the Club has been the host to meetings held by other local organisations and societies.

  • It provides opportunities for local volunteering, sharing and donating. The Club has, over the years, supported various charity events including golf events attended by celebrities in aid of such events.

  • It serves to improve and/or protect the well being of children, young people, peoples with disabilities, or older persons in the community. The Club has an open membership policy and encourages membership from all parts of society regardless of age, ethnicity and gender.

  • It provides an opportunity for members of the community to keep in touch and communicate with relatives, friends and neighbours. The Club has an active newsletter which is sent to all members on a regular basis. The Club restaurant / cafe offers a range of catering options and is bookable by members of the public who do not need to be Club members. It provides an opportunity for people to meet and communicate in a friendly and hospitable environment. The Club holds regular Sunday Carvery lunches for up to 80 people.

  • It promotes the health and wellbeing of local residents. The Club offers, and encourages, members of the local community to use the course for gentle and regular exercise on the greens. A Right of Way footpath runs across the Club and is used by both serious ramblers and local residents wanting a walk in a pleasant green environment. The Ifield Society has organised a number of walks open to all local residents and members of the public and focussed on the Club. It has also made use, on these walks, of the catering facilities offered by the Club restaurant as above.

  • It is the last remaining asset of its type in the borough and it is important for the local community to keep it in use as its sale to a non community use would represent a significant loss to the community. I understand that this point has already been covered in other submissions to you. There is an on-going reduction in the number of golf clubs in the area and HDC has consistently under valued and down played the importance of IGC in this respect. The Club boasts an increasing membership both from within and outside of the local community.

  • As discussed above the Golf Club facilities are open for hire by any local community groups. As such it has hosted a range of social events including weddings, meetings, dances and parties etc. It also hosts quiz and bridge nights.

  • It allows residents with a certain faith or cultural background to put that faith or culture into practise. As discussed above the Club operates an open policy and it’s facilities are available for hire by all sections of the local community.

  • The Club facilities have hosted a wide range of events covering various activities including charity coffee mornings raising money for local charities.

  • It is frequently used for community social and recreational events. This has been indicated above. The Club offers a snooker room.

  • It is a place that the local community frequently uses for entertainment and recreation purposes. This has been responded to above.

  • It provides an area for outdoor leisure activities, not necessarily sports-related (e.g. picnics, walking trails, etc). The public Right of Way across the club has been discussed above. The Club is available for any of the events described here.

  • It provides sports facilities for the local community to use. That is the prime reason for the existence of the Club.

  • It serves as a hub for different sporting clubs and sports teams in the community. The Club has hosted events which have involved outside clubs and their members attending.

The Ifield Society trusts that HDC will give full and sympathetic consideration to the application from Rusper Parish Council for Asset of Community Value to be conferred on Ifield Golf Club.

Richard W. Symonds

The Ifield Society