A planning application for safety netting at Exeter Golf and Country Club was recommended for approval by councillors at a planning committee meeting last night (Monday September 30).

The netting is needed to stop stray golf balls from leaving the course and causing injury or damage to homes that are being built close to the golf course boundary.

The planning committee has deferred the final decision to allow the Club to explore other possible safety options with Charles Church, part of the Persimmon Group, which is building the homes – a development of around 200 new houses called Great Woodcote Park.

The Club has been advised by specialist golf architects that the proposed houses are too close to the boundary and safety netting up to 30 metres high is needed to preserve the safety and playability of the course. Without it, or with netting of a lesser height, any insurance claim could be invalidated in the event of an incident.

Will Gannon, chairman of Exeter Golf and Country Club, said: “We are thrilled with the Council’s decision to recommend this application for approval. This decision is absolutely crucial to the future of the golf course and the club.

“This recommendation gives us the ability to encourage Persimmon to negotiate with us again and explore alternative options to preserve the safety and playability of the course.

“This could mean re-routing the golf course, something which the Club could not afford itself, but we hope this recommendation for approval will open discussions with the developer again on this issue.

“Thanks to the councillors at Exeter City Council for having the courage to make this sensible decision which has taken us a step towards safeguarding the future of the golf course.”


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Notes to editor

Exeter Golf and Country Club is in Countess Wear in Exeter. Founded in 1929, it has 750 golf club members and almost 5,000 other members that use the additional facilities including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis, squash, a bridge club, fitness centre and a range of classes.

The Club is also a significant employer is the region, employing over 100 members of staff.