CAMPAIGNERS are calling for a golf course to be halved to provided space for the community.

Their petition to Brighton and Hove City Council asks that the number of holes at Hollingbury Public Golf Course to be reduced from 18 to nine.

It says: “Now more than ever, green spaces are extremely precious, offering sanctuary and fresh air during the lockdown’s confinement.

“The space of Hollingbury’s Golf Course, whilst shut to golfing, has become an absolute haven for the local community. We would like this to continue.”

The 18-hole ex-championship downland course is equipped with a golf shop, cafeteria and bar services.

It is off Ditchling Road, Brighton and is run by Circle Golf.

The petition states: “It offers a great expanse of outdoor space that is under-utilised and ordinarily fails to serve the local community (neighbourhoods include Patcham, Coldean, Moulscoomb and Bevendean).

“These are highly residential areas that lack accessible green spaces so it is out of balance that the golf course should safely serve so few people.

“Despite being a public space, unfortunately, most local residents, including young families, are unable to benefit from it.

“It is too dangerous to walk freely with young children and pets.

“It is not an inclusive space that represents or welcomes the rich diversity of cultures in Brighton.

“We would like to make this an accessible space for people of all ages, genders and hobbies.”

Golf courses reopened their doors last month following the easing of lockdown measures.

Since the end of last week, people are now allowed to play four-ball games with players from the same or different households.

The petition adds: “Whilst we respect people’s right to play golf and to enjoy the outdoor space in this way, we ask that the land Hollingbury Golf Course occupies be harmonised to ensure all local residents can enjoy it together.

“We would like to see the course reduced to nine holes, which would allow continued enjoyment by golfers, as well as allowing local residents to enjoy the space in safety.

“Green spaces play such an important role in nurturing physical and mental wellbeing.

“Public access should mean the whole local community can truly use it.

“Please support this petition so that many more people can benefit from this fantastic outdoor space.”

The petition has now been signed by 779 people.

To be debated by the council, petitions have to reach 1,250.

Brighton and Hove City Council said: “A recommendation to award a lease for up to 25 years to operate an 18 hole golf course at Hollingbury was approved by councillors in January and, as a result, the course re-opened on June 1.

“We appreciate how much local people have enjoyed walking at Hollingbury Golf Club over the past few weeks and would encourage them to continue using the public and permissive footpaths for their daily exercise.

“We are always happy to receive petitions which can be debated by councillors once the number of signatures has reached 1,250.

“Petitions can be

registered on the council website.”