New driving range gets the green light

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Golfers may soon be able to practice their swings at a new driving range near Bletchingdon after plans were approved last week.

The 19-bay range and pro shop in Islip Road, close to the entrance to Heathfield village, is set to be floodlit for winter use.

Dr Ian Scargill, chairman of the Oxford Green Belt Network, was among those who raised 
objections to the scheme.

In a letter to Cherwell District Council, Dr Scargill raised concerns over the erosion of green belt and commercial expansion around Heathfield.

Bletchingdon Parish Council had also raised a number of concerns, including fears over extra traffic on the B4027.

Parish councillors were also concerned about drivers being dazzled by floodlights on dark evenings, and of the risk to 
motorists posed by golf balls coming through hedges onto the road.

But an ecologist consulted by Cherwell District Council said the site contained no rare habitats or protected species, while a highways officer from Oxon County Council said they did not think the location of the driving range was grounds for refusal.

However, the officer did say floodlighting must not be directly visible from the road.

Members of the council’s planning committee gave permission for the development to proceed on Thursday, but said plans for the floodlighting must be approved before the lights are installed.