Ambitious plans to transform former South Downs golf course

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Andy Dickenson

Ambitious plans to transform a former golf course in the heart of the South Downs have taken a step forward.

Brighton and Hove City Council signed off proposals to convert the 18 hole golf course at a meeting on Thursday.

A private company had been appointed to 'rewild' the area in the spring but have since dropped out.

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Councillor Marianna Ebel said: "I want it to be a space that can be enjoyed by everyone in the city. I mean the land belongs to the people of Brighton and Hove and it should be a place for nature, for recreation. It should be a place where we increase bio-diversity and where we give endangered species a place to live and thrive."The greens and fairways are slowly returning to their natural state as chemicals are no longer being used on the land.

There's 10 million people within an hour's travel time of this national park, so these are the assets, the jewels, hubs, the centres that are needed in order to provide that really good experience for people.

Phil Beldon, Sussex Wildlife Trust

The site has already become a haven for ramblers and dog walkers.

The ancient scrub is already attracting insects, adders, dormice and glow-worms.

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