Chorley Council "monitoring" new Duxbury Gardens golf course after residents claim stray balls make it unsafe

Council officials in Chorley say they are monitoring the town’s new golf range over concerns stray balls from the site pose a risk neighbours.

By Emma Downey
Friday, 15th July 2022, 3:27 pm

Costing £450k, the 12-hole adventure golf course and driving range at Duxbury Park only opened last month and is a joint venture between Chorley Council, who own the facility, and operators of the site, Parkwood Leisure.

However, the fact that it has been placed beside public gardens has caused a stir amongst residents, with one claiming a golf ball narrowly missed his head.

The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, has said that something needs to be done about the new driving range in Duxbury Gardens before "somebody gets seriously hurt".

The new driving range at Duxbury Park

Claiming that a flying golf ball was "inches from his head", he said: "They (the council) have recently put a golf driving range right next to the gardens where people used to go for picnics - one missed my head by inches a few days ago.

"You really need to see it to believe it, if you sit for a while in the gardens you'll regularly see golf balls flying in there.

"What possessed them to put a driving range next to public gardens is beyond me, how could health and safety even pass that to be safe?

"Children go playing in those gardens and the elderly take their dogs for walks. It's not safe even to go in anymore."

Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle helped open the golf course last month

He added: "I have been going to Duxbury Gardens for over 40 years. My parents go walking their dog there almost every day as they have no garden of their own.

"They have met lots of friends through going on these walks over the years so its very sad to see what's happening now.

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"My parents complained to the council, but all they've done is put up warning signs about golf balls going into the gardens - this is not solving the problem.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said "monitoring continues and further action will be taken if proven necessary"

"These are public gardens meant for members of the public to enjoy. It's very dangerous for anyone who goes in there.

"There is not even any proper benches in the gardens for people to sit on but there are plenty near the golf cafe.

"There are a lot of people who are upset by what is happening to the gardens and have stopped going down there because of all this, it's very sad."

Councillor Bradley said: “We are aware of the concerns raised by some users and even though signage is in place and the risk assessments are deemed sufficient, we are working with Parkwood Leisure to monitor the situation and we will keep reviewing it.

"Both Parkwood and the council have undertaken separate health and safety assessments that highlight that there is minimal risk from stray balls and, as the area is part of the Duxbury Park Golf complex, users are generally aware of the potential for occasional stray balls in the area already. Monitoring continues and further action will be taken if proven necessary."

"Duxbury Park continues to be a great facility for Chorley and after our recent investment to help create the new driving range, along with an adventure golf course, there's now even more for visitors to enjoy.”