Hawkhurst Golf Club in Kent could soon make way for 400 new homes if a development currently in its early planning stages is given the go-ahead by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
The club, which also features a squash club, first opened in 1968, and occupies a 45-acre site on the edge of Hawkhurst village. Its 18-hole course sits in the High Weald within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site is outside the Limits to Built Development – where larger developments are not regularly encouraged by the council – but the boundaries can be moved to accommodate an intended change from rural to urban.
The council has recently received a scoping request from Hawkhurst Golf Club’s owners, Cedar Drive Ltd, in a bid to determine whether or not the site would be suitable for homes and a new relief road. Other key elements of the plans, which are yet to be fully drawn up, include pedestrian and cycle routes, along with a community hall and car parking.
Jonathan Buckwell, a spokesperson for the project, said: “Our initial estimates are the grounds of the golf course could accommodate up to 400 homes, with a variety of sizes to meet the needs of different sections of the community, including social housing. There is also scope within the proposals to provide land for a new community centre, as well as open space and village parking.”
He added: “The site offers a unique opportunity for Hawkhurst to meet its housing targets at a location that is at the heart of the village, rather than on surrounding farmland, and with little visual impact.”
The planning process is at a very early stage, with just a request being made for an Environmental Impact Assessment. Public consultations will take place later this year before any planning application is submitted.