MP protests against dangerous stray golf balls

Parents fear for children as golf balls are hit into play area from Richmond Park

Tony Colman, the MP for Putney, has met with users of the Alton One O’Clock Centre on Fontley Way. All are concerned about the number of golf balls being hit into the children’s play area from the Golf course in neighbouring Richmond Park.

A large number of golf balls have been hit into the centre’s grounds causing parents to fear for the safety of their children. Staff have made numerous complaints about this problem and want to see a higher fence fitted which would keep such balls out of the centre or the golf course moved away from the edge of the park.

They have been pressing Wandsworth Council to sort this problem out. The Environmental Health section is now looking into the matter in cooperation with Richmond. They suggest that they may push for the holes that are near the One O’Clock Centre to be moved. Tony Colman wrote last week to the Chief executive of the Royal Parks Agency asking them to push the Golf Club owners to fit a higher fence or take other action so that their members’ leisure activities no longer constitute a threat to local children.

Tony Colman said:“One O’Clock clubs, such as the Alton One O’Clock Centre on Fontley Way, provide a great community service. It is entirely unacceptable that the users of the centre should have to worry about flying balls causing injury. Either the Local Authority, the Royal Parks Agency or the owners of the golf range have to address this problem. I have today received a preliminary response from William Weston of the Royal Parks Agency which said they are investigating the matter and will ‘attend to the problem’. This is good news and I will be holding them to that commitment.”

A spokesperson for the Council commented, ""We are aware of this problem and view it very seriously indeed. We have been in close contact with the park authorities and also Richmond Council, whose jurisdiction the golf club comes under. We have been given assurances that urgent steps are being taken to solve this problem and it is fair to say that both the park authorities and Richmond Council have been very helpful in seeking a quick solution. We will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the children do not face any risk from the golfers in future."

August 6, 2003

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