A HAMPSHIRE golf club has withdrawn its plans for a sustainable irrigation system and water storage pond following questions from planners.

Hockley Golf Club has confirmed it will be resubmitting an application to the South Downs National Park in “due course” that meets the park's landscape-led approach.

Planning consultant Stuart Austin said they are “disappointed” to have to take this step as the team believes the issues are simple to fix.

The golf club, near Twyford, hopes to install an irrigation system with a water storage pond that could hold up to 7,000 cubic metres and remove the need to use mains water to maintain the course.

The proposed development, originally submitted in May, is in response to the Environment Agency identifying the area as being under “serious water stress”.

Hampshire Chronicle: Site locationSite location (Image: Hockley Golf Club)

READ MORE: Golf club’s plans for sustainable irrigation system receives mixed response

Although nearly 40 people submitted supporting comments to the plan, it received objections over traffic along the already congested B3335 and potential harm to the park’s natural beauty.

In the formal withdrawal email, Mr Austin said: “We are disappointed in having to take this step, as we consider the questions raised are straightforward to address, and we have information available now for resubmission which would allow technical issues to be resolved through a re-consultation in an agreed extension to the determination period.

"We believe this approach would have been more aligned to the requirements of planning authorities under the Development Management Procedure Order. We will use this period to update the application documents and re-engage with consultees where appropriate before re-submitting, at which point we look forward to working positively with you to determine the new application.

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"If you could continue to encourage your landscape officer to engage with our landscape architect that would be appreciated. We attempted to engage both prior to the submission of the current application and again more recently all to no avail – with an emphasis on landscape-led design in the park it really is imperative that your officer engages with applicants."

Chris Kilgannon, club manager, said: ”We have currently withdrawn the application as the planning officer for the South Downs has asked some questions. We are currently working through these questions and shall be re-submitting in due course.

“We feel confident we can answer all the questions.”

If approved, the golf club would also develop its driving range and member experience with new target greens, an upgraded range building and a “high quality” short game area.

A South Downs National Park spokesperson said: "During the statutory consultation process, National Park Authority officers raised concerns due to changes to the landscape character of open downland and insufficient information regarding ecology, trees, flood risk, highways and archaeology.

"The proposals were considered to be contrary to policies in the South Downs Local Plan, which puts landscape at the heart of the planning process. We would welcome further discussions about developing a landscape-led approach in any future application."