Buildingsrus.co.uk admit that there is a great demand for golf in this country. Currently 3.7m people in the UK play golf each year. That represents 7% of the population. However it is estimated that a further 3m people would like to play golf given the opportunity. Lack of local facilities, relatively high cost, and problems with the traditional image of the game are all cited as reasons why these people don't join in.
The demand is not currently being met partly due to the problems of developing courses. The green field sites traditionally favoured are very hard to come by, and can be seen as environmentally unsound to develop anyway. Alternative sites must be found. Golfers cite the experience of the 'natural' landscape as a major part of their enjoyment of the game. Invariably this landscape is entirely artificial and thus could be recreated in disparate locations. There is also great potential for exploring the possibilities of artificial 'natural' leisure landscapes.
As part of a wider analysis of the New East Manchester Regeneration Strategy, the area of Miles Platting, located 15 minutes walk north from of Manchester City Centre, has been identified as an ideal location for an urban golf course for the following reasons...
· The close proximity to the city centre is an advantage in many ways. Car travel to rural locations would be curtailed - patrons easily could arrive by public transport or even on foot after mornings shopping.
· There is a great deal of space available within the area. Many green spaces already exist without any specific function that could potentially be consolidated into a defined use. Analysis has been carried out that the green space available is approximately the amount required for a full 18-hole golf course, without knocking down any existing structures.
· There is a direct relationship between proximity to golf courses and real estate values. Many housing developments in the US and increasingly in this country are planned around purpose built golf courses because it make the properties considerably more desirable. Could this phenomenon be recreated in Miles Platting by reusing derelict space as a golf course?
· Employment would be created - significant numbers of greens staff or 'superintendents' would be required which would further aid the economic developments of the area. There is also the potential that any revenue from the course could be reinvested in the area.
· The various industrial relics in the area could be ultilised as 'themes' for each hole adding to the picturesque quality of the course.
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