Opposition councillors are to challenge a decision not to reopen a golf course after coronavirus restrictions were eased.

Members of the Conservative group and other councillors will quiz town hall bosses on the closure of Whitewebbs Golf Course in Whitewebbs Park, Clay Hill, during a meeting next week.

In a report published on March 11, Enfield Council revealed the course would remain closed when outdoor sports resumed on March 29.

The council, which plans to lease Whitewebbs Golf Course and surrounding woodland to a commercial partner, said the course had lost more than £1.1 million during the past five years and it would be “irresponsible” to continue to subsidise it using taxpayers’ money.

But the shutdown was branded “outrageous” by Tory leader Cllr Joanne Laban, and members of the Conservative group have “called in” the decision to the council’s overview and scrutiny committee.

READ MORE: Decision not to reopen golf course after lockdown branded ‘outrageous’

Opposition councillors criticised the financial figures provided in the report and said there was no evidence provided to back up claims that an increase in bookings last summer was likely to be short-lived.

While there was no legal duty to consult on the closure, opposition councillors also said the report failed to explain why consulting was discounted “given how many interested parties there are, including the golf club itself”.

The Tories claim the decision to close the course “indicates a prejudging of the process of receiving bids to run the park and golf course as the report fails to state that the golf course might open under a potential contractor in the future”.

A council response to the call-in states that the accounts for the course have been published on its website for the past year, and the increase in rounds played after the first lockdown is “considered exceptional and unlikely to be sustained”.

It also states that the pressure on the council’s finances has grown significantly during the pandemic and “there was a need to make a decision” before the lifting of lockdown restrictions on March 29.

The response adds: “No decision has been made regarding the future of the site, but details of the next steps are expected to be announced shortly. The report makes this clear and the decision to close the course does not prejudge the process.”

After hearing the call-in, the scrutiny committee – which also includes Labour councillors – can send the report back to the cabinet member for a rethink, refer the decision to full council for a wider debate or uphold the original decision.

Whitewebbs Golf Course course remains open for walking, jogging and other recreational use.

The meeting is due to be broadcast online from 6pm on Thursday, April 8. More details are available here.