Fresh plans for council-owned golf course due to be sold off to developers in Milton Keynes
A council-owned golf course due to be sold off for housing and other amenities is this week once again the subject of hot debate.
MK Council announced last summer it was considering "enhancing" Bletchley's Windmill Hill golf course, the only council-run facility for golfers in Milton Keynes.
Developers Evolve Project Management put forward a series of proposals that included more than 150 homes, a large hotel, a petrol station, Sports Hub and small business units,.
Part of the golf course would be retained and there would also be tennis courts and football pitches, said Evolve.
But Bletchley residents protested about the sale of community land to a private developer and objected to the scale of development proposed for the site.
There were also concerns about damage to the environment and the extra traffic the development would produce on Standing Way, Buckingham Road and Tattenhoe Lane- which are already busy roads and likely to be impacted heavily by the nearby Salden Chase development.
Council leader Pete Marland assured residents at the time that at any plans will be subject to full public consultation with local people.
As a result of the public concern, Evolve asked local company David Lock Associates to prepare a master plan for a revised scheme. These new plans will be on show this Saturday at Xscape in CMK between 10am and 6pm.
They include reducing the number of new homes from 154 o 125 and redesigning the golf course to include a Par 3 and a 9-hole course.
There are also measures to reduce the strain on busy local roads.
The Sports Hub development would be in a single location to the north of the site, and the petrol station would be replaced with a coffee outlet. and instead of the planned multi sport arena, there would be a "high performance Cricket Centre", say Evolve.
A spokesman for David Lock said in a letter to the parish council: "These changes have enabled a greater proportion of the site to be left unbuilt, maintaining a golf offer which addresses the ability to play 18 holes, and still providing a multi-sport facility with sufficient commercial development to ensure it remains viable over the long term."
West Bletchley parish councillor Iain Layden said: "This is still a hot topic here, and I am expecting quite a large turnout at the exhibition from local residents and from users of the golf club. The golf course is very important to the local community. For many people in the area, it is a social centre as well as a golf course. It is also an important local facility for the elderly.
Cllr Layden is part of the Friends of Windmill Hill Golf Course group, which was formed last year to bring residents together and keep people informed of developments.
"My objective is to make sure as many people as possible know about the exhibition, and about the proposals, so residents can provide feedback and Council members can make informed decisions," he said.