Council admits mistakes over Whitewebbs

A 'protect the woodland' poster attached to a tree at Whitewebbs Park
A ‘protect the woodland’ poster attached to a tree at Whitewebbs Park

Report by James Cracknell

Enfield Council’s director of property admitted the local authority’s marketing of a lease for Whitewebbs Park “had not helped” allay people’s concerns.

An early advertisement of the council’s offer to lease Whitewebbs Park Golf Course and “adjoining land” to commercial bidders said it might be suitable for storing “inert material” – suggesting it could become a landfill dump.

However, Mark Bradbury told a Green Belt Forum meeting last month that this would not happen: “We accept the marketing literature and early communications have not helped with the concerns the public have held…. We will not allow proposals that involve landfill.”

Eighteen commercial bids to run the struggling council-owned golf course have now been received and are said to include “a wide variety of leisure and environmentally sustainable uses” – including retention of golf. More than 100 people packed last month’s meeting, with many concerned over the fate of the ancient woodland that has been included in the lease offer.

Asked why the woodland had been tacked on to the golf course lease, Mark explained: “We included the woodland because there has been a lack of investment in maintaining the biodiversity and the footpaths there. We are looking at how a better financial proposal could support the biodiversity.”

The council’s preferred bidder will be revealed in April.

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