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Deangate Ridge Golf Course closure confirmed by council

By Chris Hunter

Councillors are pressing ahead with plans to close a golf club, despite a last ditch attempt to save it.

Deangate Ridge Golf Course will close on Saturday, April 14, later than original closure date of this Saturday, to allow planned tournaments to take place on the course in Hoo.

The confirmation came from Medway council's cabinet this morning, although campaigners still hope they can take over the site.

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Protesters against the closure of Deangate Ridge Golf Course outside the Medway Council offices in Gun Wharf on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: Chris Davey (850239)
Protesters against the closure of Deangate Ridge Golf Course outside the Medway Council offices in Gun Wharf on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: Chris Davey (850239)

The Deangate Community Partnership, which has been fighting to save the course in Hoo, joined forces with Mytime Active, a social enterprise running leisure centres and golf courses across the country, to draw up an ‘expression of interest’ document for the site.

Interested parties are allowed to submit plans to show they are able to provide a service on behalf of the council.

Campaigners say the partnership document, submitted to Medway Council last Friday, shows it can operate Deangate Ridge at no expense to the council in the first year, before making net contributions to the authority in subsequent years of the 25-year plan.

George Crozer, of the Deangate Community Partnership, said: “What we have done is spoken to a recognised national sports charity which has looked at Deangate.

“They are over the moon we have spoken to them, and can’t understand why the council has made this decision to close Deangate. It would not cost the council anything to run, and would pay substantial money into Medway Council as a result.”

The authority says the council-owned complex has made a loss of more than £1.5m over the last seven years and suffered a declining membership of less than 300.

Council leader Alan Jarrett said the expression of interest will still be considered before demolition work will start.

Meanwhile, little explanation has been given as to why Cllr Trevor Clarke (Con) is no longer the chairman of the council’s regeneration, culture and environment overview and scrutiny committee.

Cllr Clarke has confirmed he was “summarily removed” from the committee by council leader, Cllr Alan Jarrett, the day after the Deangate Ridge Golf Course closure call-in.

He said he would be willing to speak further on the matter after cabinet makes a final decision on Deangate. Cllr Jarrett said: “I’m not prepared to talk about it.”

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