Fears are growing developers will build on a popular golf course after the club confirmed plans to depart the site.

Reading Golf Club has revealed it will leave the land in Emmer Green by March 2021 after controversial housing plans were mooted.

Members of the campaign group Keep Emmer Green are fearful additional residents will put pressure on services such as healthcare and schooling.

They also expressed the concerns over increased traffic in the area and a rise in pollution.

The club plans to leave the current site at Emmer Green to merge with Caversham Heath Golf Club due to financial losses making it “unviable” to keep both open.

Colin Reed, chairman of Reading Golf Club, said: “The land in Emmer Green has been identified for future housing development and funds from the Reading Golf Club’s development partners are being used to ensure a long-term sustainable model at Caversham Heath Golf Club.”

He added it would be a “sad day” for the club when they leave but the current site means they cannot meet modern requirements.

Mr Reed said: “The opportunity for our development partner to provide much needed family housing, including affordable homes, with significant publicly accessible open spaces should be welcomed.

“We understand that for development to happen, appropriate traffic improvements, coupled with an essential new medical facility, will be required and this should help to offset some of the concerns over the development.

“That however is for the council and their planning department to work on.”

Members of Keep Emmer Green have hit back following the announcement.

They said: “We read the press statement from the chairman of Reading Golf Club (RGC) with incredulity and disbelief.

“His statement suggests that all the golf club land within the Reading Borough Council (RBC) area in Emmer Green has been identified for future housing development.

“It may be the RGC chairman's wish that it is. But that is all it is at this time and, very likely, for some time to come. If not forever.”

Currently, the development proposal forms part of the Local Draft Plan (LDP) but these plans are yet to be confirmed, subject to conditions from the government inspector.

These include an access road to new residential properties, a medical centre and a traffic management plan.