Golf course flooding sparks new homes protest

Villagers fighting plans for 2,000 new homes on a Northamptonshire golf course say heavy rainfail that left part of the course submerged has strengthened their case.

Collingtree Park Golf Course, which could be reconfigured under proposals by Bovis Homes, was forced to close for the whole of Sunday, and only the front nine holes opened yesterday.

Members of the residents' association, which objected to the plans, claim a new development would leave homes at risk of flooding from the Wootton Brook, which overflowed into Collingtree Park over the weekend.

Owen Coop, chairman of Collingtree Residents' Association, said: "As residents we see the potential increased danger of putting further houses on land that is prone to flooding already. This may be of little concern to Bovis and the landowners but it is a real and genuine concern to residents.

"Houses have now been flooded several times in the past few years and it was fortunate that none were impacted this weekend in Collingtree Park but many are very worried about the future."

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Celia Rayner, who has lived near the golf course for seven years, said the flooding was the worst she had seen after waters rose rapidly over parts of the buggy track.

Bovis unveiled the plans in July with an exhibition at the golf club, sparking the formation of an action group to protest against the extension of the village on the grounds of flooding, infrastructure and traffic.

The project would include the reconfiguration of the 18-hole golf course to accommodate the new homes.

A spokeswoman for Bovis's PR firm, Halogen, said: "The situation is that the consultation period is still open so in terms of what the planning development team are up to, we are collating all of the feedback and they will be taking lots of things into account.

"Flood attenuation is just one of those factors, and at the moment, they are still using information to refine the proposals. If any issues have presented themselves from recent rainfall, I'm sure they will be looking at them."