Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Friday, 2 April 2010 14:01 UK

Scunthorpe golf club woodland expansion rejected

Forest Pines Golf Resort
Campaigners said the woodland was as precious as rainforest

Environmental campaigners are celebrating after a North Lincolnshire golf club was told it could not expand into ancient woodland.

Original plans for expansion at Forest Pines golf club near Scunthorpe were rejected by councillors in 2008.

The club appealed but after an eight-day inquiry The Planning Inspectorate upheld the refusal.

The Woodland Trust said it was relieved. The club said the decision was a "real blow for the area".

Under the plans Forest Pines would have got a further nine holes and be of a standard to host future international golf tournaments.

We were creating 60 jobs and we had chances of bringing major international and global tournaments to the region
Chris Cottam, Forest Pines

The Woodland Trust and Friends of the Earth said they did not object to the club's expansion, but to the location of the expansion because the woodland should be protected.

Nikki Williams, head of campaigning for the Woodland Trust, said: "We're a very small team in not a particularly big charity that have had to take this on so to know that all your hard work and all your effort has come to such a brilliant outcome is really relieving.

"Ancient woodland is not like normal woodland, it is wood that's been here for hundreds and hundreds of years.

"It's very precious land so only certain things grow in them, only certain things live in them and it means that they become really our rainforest, the equivalent in the UK of the rainforest.

"If they're lost you can't put them back, so that's why it's so valuable."

Chris Cottam, Managing Director of Forest Pines, said: "It's a real blow for the area.

"It doesn't seem to make any sense whatsoever. We were creating 60 jobs and we had chances of bringing major international and global tournaments to the region."

Mr Cottom said the club's owners were now assessing their options.



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