Alternative proposals for Whitewebbs Park

Any private commercial development of Whitewebbs Park and Golf course  would involve an  a lot of environmental damage and more destruction of the Green Belt.

Without  house building and “landscaping” (dumping of building waste) the scope for massive income generation is very limited. No park is expected to make money and Whitewebbs cost very little to run – it has been neglected for years.

A lot of people use the park, dog walkers and golfers every day of the year, walkers,  walking clubs, wildlife lovers, runners, people who want a bit of peace and quiet, the occasional cyclist passing through and horseriders using the bridleway.

Apart from the golf course the only  commercial activities in the park  are the Toby Carvery (separate lease arrangement) and the small cafe in Beggars Hollow.

The cafe is leased at £10000 a year and is tightly restricted by planning rules from developing into a more attractive venue.

People go to enjoy the Park and then call in at the cafe to get a coffee, a cake or a bacon sandwich. Very few people go to the cafe  because it is an attractive venue in its own right.

There are many examples of excellent cafes in London Parks. Why not give planning permission for a larger permanent cafe with facilities that will attract more of the current users and will be of sufficient quality to attract many more? Warmth, shelter from the elements, clean toilets, a welcome for muddy booted walkers,  wet and grassy golfers, dogs and their owners, the provision of good food and beverages would generate enough income to pay the Council a much higher rent. This would offset the  relatively small losses of the golf course. At present the golf course, unlike clubs, can’t subsidise the course through bar, catering and facility rental.

Add some general use  accommodation such as a small hall and the facility could be a real community hub – parties, puppy training, information centre, talks, meetings…. . Build a small play area for children and an outdoor gym  and the place becomes even more attractive. More customers for the cafe, more income for the cafe operator, higher rental paid to the Council.

The cafe operator will need a decent length of lease if investment in facilities is to be a worthwhile prospect.

What maintenance work in the Park is done is undertaken by volunteers. Walkers keep the paths open, by walking them. The park costs very little to run.


One Reply to “Alternative proposals for Whitewebbs Park”

  1. Devastating for wildlife, and the amazing woodland, flora and fauna, if developed.
    Can you put a price on people’s well-being from having such a wonderful area to walk in and enjoy we are fast losing the green belt hope it doesn’t end up like Trent park, which is heartbreaking.

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