A HAMPSHIRE golf course looks set to close, paving the way for developers behind a 1,400 homes scheme to move in.

Work on the controversial Boorley Green development near Botley has moved a step closer after the Botley Park Golf Club, on the site where homes are set to be built, terminated its membership on Tuesday.

Former Eastleigh Borough Council chief executive Chris Tapp, who is a member of Botley Park Golfers, said members had hoped to play on the MacDonald Botley Park Hotel’s golf course for one last summer.

But members received word ten days ago that their membership would be terminated when it came to its end on Tuesday, which was then confirmed in writing.

The letter, which confirmed that contracts for the sale of the land have been exchanged and that therefore the golf course would be closing, indicates that golfers could pay for a month’s play, and beyond April the golf course may be available for a few more weeks for pay and play use.

At its height the club had about 400 members, but since news broke of the golf course’s role in the development, numbers have dwindled to about 250.

Mr Tapp, a member for 23 years, said that the club, which would have celebrated its 25th anniversary in July, had many members who had been coming for more than 20 years.

“It was a friendly club and that little community is now broken up,” said Mr Tapp. “We’re resigned to the situation.

“Botley Park was one of the best conditioned golf courses in Hampshire – it was extremely well managed and a lovely place to play golf. “It’s sad that era has come to an end but once the planning permission was granted we all knew that sooner or later we’d have to look for somewhere else.

“Our only disappointment with the hotel is that they gave us so little notice.”

As reported, a consortium of developers and landowners, including hotel owners Macdonald Hotels, is behind the plans for Boorley Green, which were approved by Eastleigh borough councillors back in 2013 despite hundreds joining a protest march through the streets of Botley.

However, the Botley Parish Action Group and later Botley Parish Council – who fear that the homes will add to congestion and change the character of Botley village – took their campaign to get the decision reviewed to the courts.

But after fighting and finally succeeding in getting a judicial review, a judge threw out the case and campaigners eventually conceded defeat.

A spokesperson for MacDonald Hotels said: “Membership at Botley Park Golf Club is on a month to month basis and we do not expect membership to be extended beyond the end of April.

“The course is open to golfers on a pay and play basis.”