A golf course set to be permanently closed as part of the transformation of Brooklands Park was a council ‘priority’ to be reopened just six months ago, a resident has revealed.
Earlier this month, Worthing Borough Council announced its intention to close the Brooklands par-three course – along with attractions such as the go-karts – to develop a science adventure park on the site.
Golfers had been expecting the course to reopen after a temporary closure while cabling for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm was laid.
In an email exchange with Lancing resident John Wood, the reopening was described as a ‘priority’ as recently as May.
An email from a council officer to Mr Wood said the council was ‘fully committed’ to ensuring the opening of the attraction ‘as soon as possible’.
The council’s pride for the course was evident in its description on its website prior to the launch of the £2million masterplan to revamp the park’s facilities.
It was described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ and a 20-year-old course that had ‘matured into one of the finest in the county’.
The updated description now simply states the course ‘is now closed’.
Read more about the Brooklands Park masterplan here:
Worthing’s Brooklands Park transformation plans revealed
Petition launched to save Brooklands Park go-karts
Brooklands Go Karts owners have their say on decision to close attraction
In a Facebook comment, Mr Wood said: “I’m afraid it appears the council didn’t consider the jewel in the crown worth keeping, despite their previous high regard for it.”
Speaking to the Herald, the golfer said he felt the attractions could have been retained as well as new additions in the masterplan.
“I can fully appreciate that a lot of Brooklands had become very run down and needed work doing to bring it back to being a desirable place for people to visit,” he said.
“What I cannot understand is why popular things like the golf course and go karts no longer figure in the plans. Brooklands is a large area of land and could easily accommodate everything.
“That way there would be something for everyone.”
Responding to Mr Wood’s comments, a council spokesman said: “The masterplan for Brooklands Park proposes a complete transformation of this much-loved open space.
“We want to turn it into an exciting destination park for all of the family and, having listened to the views of hundreds of people during a consultation, believe we have come up with a fantastic plan to make this green space better than it’s ever been before.
“The initial response has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Paul Trueman, of Milford Court in Lancing, was another resident to complain about the plans.
In a letter to the Herald, he said the public should be concerned about the direction in which the park is being taken by the council.
“During the lack of investment years certain activities have carried on successfully, bringing people to Brooklands, those being the miniature railway, the small par 3 golf course and the Brooklands Go-Karts,” he said.
“So, the council with their business hats on have decided to get rid of these popular successful activities.
“There are many improvements required at Brooklands, as they suggest improving the walks and outdoor events, but why can the improvements not be carried out alongside the successful activities in place?”