Plans to build Britain’s first Dye-designed golf course at Bury Farm in Edgware, north London, have received a setback after being rejected by Barnet Council’s planning committee, despite planning officers recommending they should be approved.
Developer Bridgedown Ltd, owned by Tony Menai Davis, who also owns the Shire course, elsewhere in Barnet, first launched its plan for the course two years ago. The project is to be designed by Perry Dye, but the planning application has previously been withdrawn and resubmitted on two occasions.
Last week, Barnet Council’s planning committee finally got to consider the application at a meeting in Hendon Town Hall, and committee members voted unanimously against the proposal, despite the fact that the council’s own planning officer had recommended acceptance, and the Greater London Authority (GLA) had also expressed support.
Councillors, GLA members and the local MP all expressed opposition to the golf course plan, pointing out that the Green Belt site had been farmed for hundreds of years, that it served as an important open space in the borough and that the surrounding area was amply supplied with golf courses. The land is owned by All Souls College, Oxford, which has agreed to lease the site to Bridgedown.
But the developers believe this is by no means the end of the story. Landscape architect Philip Russell-Vick, who represented developer Menai Davis at the hearing, said: “We were pleased to have recommendations for approval from the Greater London Authority and the London Borough of Barnet Planning Officer, and were naturally surprised and disappointed that the council members decided not to take these recommendations on board. We are seeking legal advice, and will be appealing against the decision.” Sources close to the project say they believe the council will struggle to find legal grounds for the rejection and that it will be approved on appeal.