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Architect calls for golf courses to be opened to housing

An architectural firm hopes mocked-up plans to build hundreds of homes at a north London golf club will spark a debate on how the city uses land.

RCKa's speculative proposals are for 650 homes to be built on Enfield Golf Club's 18-hole course.

Russell Curtis, the firm's co-founder, is aiming to highlight other possible uses for the land.

He said most golf courses in London were automatically protected with green belt or Metropolitan Open Land status.

Under the mock plans - part of a project dubbed "holes to homes" - the 39-hectare (0.15 sq mile) course would be reduced to nine holes to make way for a housing development.

The firm, which is based in Shoreditch, also proposed walking and cycle routes, wetlands and facilities such as a health centre, gym and mobility hub.

Mr Russell said the proposals were not realistic and no planning application would be made to Enfield Council.

The course at Enfield Golf Club is classed as Metropolitan Open Land, effectively giving it the same level of protection from "inappropriate" development as the green belt under London-wide policies.

Mr Curtis told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the firm's "indicative" scheme was to provide 100% affordable housing in blocks "no taller than maybe six or eight storeys".

He said: "Enfield has a profound problem with homelessness.

"Is that fair when it also has six golf courses?"

Mr Curtis suggested his firm's plan would be less controversial than re-designating greenbelt sites.

He said the plans were "deliberately provocative" to pose questions about the use of land in London, where he said golf courses took up an area the size of the borough of Brent.

He added he had been surprised by the number of golfers who had written to him "who also think there are probably too many golf courses in London".

Enfield Council and Enfield Golf Club declined to comment on the proposals.

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