Residents who feared part of a former golf course could be sold to developers have learned from council chiefs that it WON’T – and that ALL the land will be turned into a new nature reserve for the community.

The reassurance came at a town hall meeting in Ilkeston where Erewash’s leader Cllr James Dawson met with his cabinet over the future of the town’s disused Pewit municipal course.

The executive team officially rejected an option that would have seen between eight and nine acres earmarked for disposal while the rest is transformed into a wildlife haven.

The decision on Tuesday (16 April) clears the way for the entirety of the land – some 25 acres – to become a tranquil beauty spot right on the edge of town.

More than £500,000 will be invested in creating what will be called Pewit Coronation Meadows Local Nature Reserve.

The cash is NOT coming from council tax. Half is government levelling-up investment through what is called the Shared Prosperity Fund. The rest is money paid to the town hall by businesses involved in the redevelopment of the old Stanton ironworks.

The under-used golf course at West End Drive closed in 2022. Work on transforming it into a nature reserve is poised to start soon in what is the council’s golden anniversary year.

Natural England and the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust have welcomed the council’s blueprint for the land. The reserve will form an extension of existing green havens including Straw’s Bridge – celebrated for its Swan Lake.

One element of the plan could see the course’s former pavilion building become an educational centre and coffee shop.