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Can I pick your brains ?

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,917
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Can I pick your brains ?

A Friend of mine lives near a Golf course. The owner purchased the land for £50,000....... 176 Acres. Said golf course is no longer making a profit and he has now applied to the council for permission to build 600 houses. Guess how much that land is now worth ! Anyway I was asked is there any point in objecting to this proposal and if so on what grounds ?
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Can I pick your brains ?

log onto the land registry website and download the deeds and see if there is anything that was conditional in the sale of that land when it became a golf course, what do the deeds of your friends property state which could be relevant too?
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David_W
Rising Star
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Can I pick your brains ?

600 houses isn't a minor development, it's major - of which some will have to be affordable, probably social housing (it's usually how they get planning permission) so you could object on the grounds that there isn't the facilities (schools etc..) to support a development that large.
You could also (possibly) object on the grounds that the area has been used for a long time as a community area, which in turn would get it designated a village green and automatically will have the planning permission rejected.
However, you have to look at the motives, why do they want to object to the new builds?  is it because a £50,000 plot of land is going to be worth about £60 million?  The course is obviously not a going concern so there is no future for it as a golf course without major investment, which due to the lack of profit would be a major risk.  Is it the fact your friend would prefer a golf course to look at rather than 600 houses?  We have a lack of houses in this country and need to build a *lot* and they have to go somewhere - flood plains are a terrible idea.  If the course is no longer a going concern, it will end up falling in to a state of disrepair, the grass won't get cut etc. and it'll end up looking a mess.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Can I pick your brains ?

Dgwebb,
those are fair points you make, I think social housing was mentioned for part of the development.  I think that was one of the major concerns as less than half a mile away there are a large number of houses that are part of a housing association and crime has increased in the area due to a small number of residents who have been relocated to the area.
Not sure about the issue of it being a community area as it would have been restricted to those people using the golf course rather than the whole community.
Can't deny your other points about the lack of houses in the country (but where will people get mortgages) if the banks are refusing to lend and government ministers are saying forget buying you may have to rent.
It may also be a case of not in my back yard or loss in property values.
Perhaps one idea might be to get an MP to live in the area affected........... give him a free house for favours expected.
I'm rambling on from the original point........sorry.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Can I pick your brains ?

Hope it's not Gleneagles golf course  Wink
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Can I pick your brains ?

Serious point not a pun. If its a golf course now, it might be green-belt land.
As far a social housing is concerned, developers are obliged by law these days (thanks to John Prescott) to provide for it in any project. I forget what the percentage is but the figure of 15% rings a bell.
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David_W
Rising Star
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Can I pick your brains ?

I don't believe a golf course can be listed as a green belt as it's privately owned commercial land, I think a green belt is a natural area of green.
I think the best option is to prove that the local infrastructure cannot possibly support a development of 600 houses, how many houses are currently in the area?  I'm in a smallish town with 6,000 people so 600 new houses would be a major increase in housing, let's say 10%, it would not be supportable.  With 600 new houses you'll see an increase of between 900-1200 people, if it's a small village of 1,000 people then there is no way on earth the area could support that kind of redevelopment.
If however it's in a rural area of a city, i.e. on the outskirts and there is the roads, schools, local transport links to support the development then it becomes a bit harder to justify rejecting the principle based on "the value of my house will drop if you build more houses here" or "I'd rather look at a golf course than a house".
With hind-sight (which is always 20/20) the best option would have been for the people to use the golf course to keep it profitable, then closing it down simply to develop the area would raise eyebrows with the planning folks, there was most likely a clause in the contract of sale that stated the land could only be developed if the course became and remained unprofitable. 
One of the only ways people are going to have a chance of winning their case it to attend every meeting held on it, if a few hundred people turn up to every meeting objecting to the development, it'll go a long way further than a few hundred showing up with banners in the street.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Can I pick your brains ?

a firm called Lord  dont own it do they?,  they are a right load of golf course sharks
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Can I pick your brains ?

It might help to know roughly where the course is, as the law is different between, England and Wales, Scotland , Northern Ireland.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Can I pick your brains ?

mal0z,
The golf course is on the outskirts of Preston in Lancashire.