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'Green Belt dumping' fears over golf course development plans at Little Hay Golf Course in Bovingdon
Residents were invited to meet with the people behind the contentious plans to develop a golf course in Bovingdon last week.
Woodland Environmental Ltd has been brought in by Little Hay Golf Course operators, Dacorum Sports Trust, to revamp the venue. Representatives from the group attended a Bourne End Residents Association meeting on Monday, September 9.
The plans involve the remodelling of 14 holes on the existing 18-hole golf course and the implementation of a water harvesting system that includes the construction of an irrigation lagoon, Collection lake and a drainage system.
The remodelling would involve 295,000 cubic metres of inert materials, or "clean soils", arriving to the site by heavy goods vehicles over a proposed 18-month period.
A concern raised by some residents in attendance at the meeting was the idea that the company would be using the scheme as a means to dump material on Green Belt land and gain a substantial amount of money in the process.
Stephen Fletcher, a Bourne End resident, said: "This is about tipping in the Green Belt and gaining £3 million in tipping charges and then dressing up the tipped material to reshape the golf course.
"I believe it is just a device to obtain tipping charges and make a load of money. It goes against the Planning Policies of Dacorum Borough Council and the Government."
At a meeting Woodland Environmental Ltd put forward the case that the business is struggling because the course is not challenging enough.
In the 1980s the Bovingdon course had around 700 members but today there are only about 350.
They said their plan will make it more challenging while keeping it suitable for children and less experienced golfers. Their plan involves importing 298,000 m3 of inert construction waste to bring this about.
A resident of Bourne End Lane, John Mawer, added: "There is something nasty going on here. It’s being kept hush-hush to the people it will affect the most. This isn’t going to be landfill, it’s going to be land rising. 295,000 cubic metres of construction waste is an absolutely huge amount. Something doesn’t add up."
The land is owned by Dacorum Borough Council but the application has been submitted to Hertfordshire County Council who will make the final decision.
Mr Fletcher said he plans to write a letter of objection to the borough council as they will have to give permission for the development to go ahead.
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