Q) Where is this development?

A) This exciting new development is on the site of Hounslow Heath Golf Course, opposite the Ron Smith recycling centre on Staines Road. The site has led an interesting life. Prior to being a golf course it had been a rubbish dump since 1945 and before that it was used for gravel extraction.

Q) Some people are saying the development will destroy part of the heath. Is that true?

A) No part of the development is taking part on the Hounslow Heath Nature Reserve contrary to claims made by local environmentalists. This has been confirmed by Hounslow Borough Council who is the freeholder of the site.

Click here for more information about National Nature Reserves in England. To view a map of the Hounslow Heath Nature Reserve make sure that you have highlighted Local Nature Reserves in the “designation” tab and then search for Hounslow Heath in the search tab.

Q) Is it true the public right of way that forms part of the London Loop will be affected?

A) The public footpath between the River Crane and Hounslow Heath that forms part of the London Loop will not be affected. In fact, once the development is completed we will be introducing another footpath to take walkers directly to the front door of the development and Staines Road.

Q) Will the children’s play park be noisy?

A) We should not be confused with a theme park as we have no noisy mechanical rides or arcade games. There are no tannoys or outside speakers. Our whole ethos is about natural, challenging play.

Q) What about increased traffic and air pollution?

A) A leisure business such as golf or a children’s adventure playground is busy during weekends and school holidays. The impact we place on peak traffic times during the morning and evening rush hours is insignificant. As part of our planning application we have had to carry out numerous traffic surveys across key junctions likely to be affected by the development. To prove this point and as existing operators we have a lot of data on when people arrive and leave that makes these reports very accurate.

We are also committed by way of a document called a Visitor Management and Travel Plan to promote sustainable means of transport; provide plentiful cycle parking; offer incentives to customers coming by public transport; promote cycling and public transport as the preferred mode of transport for all our employees and provide electric car charging points. Our target is to persuade 30% of our customers to arrive by sustainable means of transport. We are also providing land for a new cycle route along Staines Road and are creating a new footpath to encourage local residents to visit on foot.

In addition we will provide a new bus stop on Staines Road as the existing one by our entrance currently blocks part of the Staines Road when in use. We have been asked by Hounslow Council to make provision for a new bus stop within the the Golf course itself which we have agreed to.

Q) Are any trees being lost in the development?

A)It is a regrettable fact that trees will be lost due to the development and we will keep this number to the absolute minimum. Whilst it does not make up for their loss, we have pledged to plant 5 new trees for every single tree that has to be removed. We have asked the council to make this a condition of any permission to satisfy residents’ concerns.

This year alone Hobbledown planted over 250 trees at our site in Epsom.
Maple Leaf Golf have a 16 year track record of sound ecological management and on their Chichester site have planted over 15,000 trees and 5,000 on their Epsom site.

Q) What about wildlife during the construction work?

A) There are strict guidelines as to what works can be done when working on sites like Hounslow Heath Golf Course. The main areas of development concern the Golf Driving Range, Golf Club House, Driving Range, New Play Barn, Service and Maintenance Yard and the Car Park.
Any work involving trees or the removal of dense scrub has to take place between November and March to protect the habitats of any breeding birds.

Where areas of habitat for reptiles will be lost as result of the development, we are required to put in place a plan for the translocation of reptiles. This involves fencing off the habitat areas to be lost, with a reptile fence and over a period of time collecting any reptiles found by placing artificial habitats within the area and then moving them to a safe area out of harm’s way.

Q) How many car parking spaces will there be?

A) We will have 350 permanent spaces on hardstanding and 250 overflow car parking spaces on grassed areas.

Q) How many visitors will be coming to the various parts of the development?

A) We anticipate welcoming 300,000 visitors per year to Hobbler’s Heath and 50,000 to The Hangout.

We expect yearly visitors to number around 40,000 for Adventure Golf, 60,000 to the Range and 20,000 to the Golf & Footgolf Course.

Q) Will there be preferential rates for locals?

A) Hobbler’s Heath will be offering annual passes which give unlimited access to all the facilities, preferential rates in our on-site restaurants and cafes and access to special events. The annual pass is very popular at Hobbledown, Epsom – we have over 6000 local annual pass holders. Prices will be in line with those at Epsom – currently from £48 per year.

The golf pass for £149 represents fantastic value.

Q) What will you be doing for the local community and schools?

A) At this early stage we have yet to formalise any arrangements for Hounslow. However, Hobbledown Epsom currently gives out over £20,000 worth of free tickets each year to Charities and Schools to help with fundraising. We encourage school visits and try to incorporate elements of the national curriculum with a strong emphasis on outdoor learning and play and the health benefits associated with this. We welcome around 9000 children each year to Hobbledown in Epsom.

We have very strong links with the local community and have often provided Hobbledown entertainment at local events free of charge – including the switching on of the Christmas Lights in Epsom, character story time at local libraries and free park and ride on bonfire night.

We are in early discussions to set up a Forest School at our site in Epsom, something we would be keen to do at Hounslow, offering local primary schools use of the facilities.

We have had discussions with the Friends of the River Crane (FORCE) to offer support by way of muscle and machine to help with their improvements along the River Crane Corridor. We are also in discussions with the Environment Agency about improvements to the River Crane itself.

During school hours in term time, school groups will be able to come up to the adventure golf and play for free. There will also be regular complimentary coaching sessions for children to get them playing golf.

Q) What is the yardage and par of the golf course?

A) The holes on the Academy 9 hole course will range from 100 yards to 200 yards and all will be par 3’s.