Walkers want course access

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 February 2015


WALKERS who used to regularly cross Portishead’s golf course to reach a popular coast path have called for access to the council-owned amenity to be reinstated.

For a number of years, walkers have been able to stroll across the land off Nore Road to get to the Gordano Round path which runs along the bottom adjacent to the water. However, a gate giving access to the course was locked last summer.

Now planning permission has been granted for a wholesale revamp of the golf course, walkers are calling for access to be given back. But, North Somerset Council says the gate walkers used to use is only meant for maintenance purposes, not for pedestrians access.

As part of the course redevelopment plans, which course architect Adrian Stiff hopes to begin work on in the spring, there are proposals to create a large earth mound to protect walkers on the coast path from golf balls. It will also mean walkers will not be able to stray from the path.

Keen walker, Ann Townsend, of Drakes Way, said: “There are a lot of people who have been around this area for a long time who have regularly walked across the golf course.

“A group of 30 residents got together last year and provided evidence to show the routes had been used for a long time in the hope one or two in the area could be made official footpaths.

“The coast path is impassable in the winter as it is so boggy and in the summer because it is so overgrown. To get around that, people will walk on the course.

“If they cut people off from it altogether then there will be very heavy use of the footpath.”

Despite the calls from walkers, the council has said it does not want the public crossing the golf course due to the danger posed by flying balls.

A spokesman confirmed the council still has to give landlord’s permission before any work can start onsite and a meeting is due to be held with the concessionaire to discuss the proposals in full.

They also answered queries regarding a covenant on the land which some residents believe means it should be made available to everyone in the town. However, the council believes the covenant simply states the land should be for leisure use.

The spokesman added: “Regarding the gate in Nore Road, when the fence was renewed a while ago so were the gates and we kept them for maintenance but not for access.

“We will be keeping the path clear this summer and there will be a winter cut back scheduled for December too.”

Proposals to develop the golf course include levelling out the fairways by bringing in some 16,000 cubic metres of clay, sand and gravel from construction sites.

This is a common method used when redeveloping golf courses which generates the money needed to carry out the work.

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