Talks over golf course access

Many campaigners are concerned about public access to Portishead Golf Course.

Many campaigners are concerned about public access to Portishead Golf Course. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are doubts whether a Portishead golf course can be given town green status following investigations.

Portishead Town Council and North Somerset Council members have met with people who are concerned public access will not be maintained at the site in Nore Road.

As the Times reported earlier this year, people who regularly walk across the land have started a campaign after proposals to revamp the course, which could see them banned from walking there, were given approval.

Town green status would however protect public use of the site, and mean the land would not be available solely to golfers.

A planning application to improve the facility and level the fairways by bringing in 16,000 cubic metres of clay, sand and gravel was approved in February but North Somerset has yet to give landlord’s consent to the firm, which leases the site for £5,000 per year, to allow work to start.

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Cllr Peter Burden, who sits on both town and district councils, is not certain whether the town green status could be given to the area because a planning application has gone in and already been approved.

He said: “Access has never been restricted to my knowledge but now it seems odd people think they can restrict it.

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“I believe people have the right to use it. The rights of local people must be recognised.”

Investigations are now being made to see whether historically the site has been closed off from public use or not.

But Cllr Burden believes there is a way for the land to be enjoyed by golfers and the public without there being problems.

He said it works in Clevedon and at Ashton Court where people can walk the course, while golfers are playing.

He added: “With public space people have to be courteous and respectful to other people.”

Cllr David Pasley, who also sits on both councils, told the Times that North Somerset is continuing to regularly monitor the golf course to make sure no work is carried out without permission.

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