The “rape” of centuries-old farmland in Edgware has been prevented - after councillors refused planning permission for the creation a top-of-the-range golf course.
The 18-hole course, proposed on land to the west of Edgwarebury Farm, east of the A41 and south of the M1, would have been designed by one of the world’s leading golf course designers and been among top courses in London and the south-east.
But Barnet Council’s planning committee voted unanimously against it after hearing a range of concerns including about flooding, danger to local wildlife and traffic safety with right-turning vehicles entering the site from the A41.
London Assembly member for Barnet Andrew Dismore told the committee there were already numerous golf clubs in the area and that space for walking and horse-riding would be lost on the land, which has been farmed since Roman times.
Matthew Offord MP described the 76-hectare site as “the lungs of Edgware,” and said there was “no demonstrable demand” for another golf club, which would threaten the viability of other local clubs.
Deputy leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Dan Thomas, speaking against the application as a local resident who lives 300 metres from the site, said: “To see the rolling hills and patchwork of green and yellow farmland, you wouldn’t believe you’re in a London borough.”
But landscape architect Phillip Russel-Vick, speaking on behalf of the applicant Tony Menai-Davis, who also owns The Shire London golf club near High Barnet, accused objectors of not reading the full facts of the application, which had been recommended for approval by council planning officers.
He said traffic safety checks had been carried out at the site, and that the Environment Agency did not have concerns over flooding.
He said: “The farmer has given up his tenancy. He simply can’t get his machinery to the site. The Livery business has replacement land for them to go to.”
He also said that public access to the site would be enhanced not decreased.
He added: “None of the hedgerows are being removed. The ecology is being enhanced.”
But ward councillor Helena Hart said she was speaking for hundreds of residents in opposing this “heinous application.”
Councillor Hugh Rayner, also a local resident, described the plans as “the rape of farmland in north-west London.”