Plans to stop England’s oldest golf club from falling into the sea are set to be driven forward.

The entrance to Royal North Devon Golf Club. Picture: GoogleThe entrance to Royal North Devon Golf Club. Picture: Google

The Royal North Devon Golf Club on the coastline of Northam Burrows Country Park dates back to 1864, but continued coastal erosion and sea water flooding means eventually the greens on the seventh and eighth holes will be lost.

Storm Eleanor ripped 49ft of land away from behind the eighth tee in 2018 and 20ft of sand dune beside the 7th green was washed away during the same winter.

The seventh green is now just 35ft from the edge of the erosion, prompting the committee to redesign the affected area to ensure 18 Championship golf holes remain alongside its status as the 'oldest Links in England'.

Torridge District Council's planning committee are recommended to approve the club's plans for a replacement eighth hole, tee and green, new ninth hole tees and amendments to the seventh hole green when it meets on Thursday, September 5.

The storm damage at Northam Burrows and Royal North Devon Golf Course in 2018. Picture: Raymond GoldsmithThe storm damage at Northam Burrows and Royal North Devon Golf Course in 2018. Picture: Raymond Goldsmith

A statement submitted with the application said: "These changes are required due to the continued erosion behind the seventh green and salt water flooding to the eighth green. Independent advice suggests that this erosion will continue and eventually the seventh and eighth greens will be lost.

"It is imperative that RNDGC continues to be a high standard 18-hole course. The modification proposed, have been designed by MacKenzie and Ebert, International Golf Course Architects.

"Once the new holes are open and in play the old greens will be stripped of turf and landscaped to look natural. This work will be undertaken with the cooperative of the Northam Burrows ranger."

The report said the plans are likely to have a limited life, and further movement of holes and tees will be required in the future.

Advice from the Environment Agency said: "We advise that all development is moved as far away from the coastline as possible.

"The new eighth tees are offered some protection by the rock armour, but this is not guaranteed for any length of time. We also advise that the existing seventh Tees are moved inland where possible.

"There are significant erosion issues in this section at the moment. It is also worth noting that the proposed plan will only offer a temporary solution, and further movement will be required in perhaps five to ten years."

Councillors being recommended that given the nature of the proposal, it is considered acceptable, despite the works potentially being subject to future coastal erosion.

The application has to come before the committee as the land is owned by Torridge District Council.

Royal North Devon Golf Club was founded in 1864 and is the oldest golf course in England. The course was designed by the Scottish golfer, Old Tom Morris, who won four Open Championships and still holds the record as the oldest winner of The Open Championship at 46.

The golf course in the country and is regarded as the St Andrews of the South, as tough as any of the UK's more famous links layouts and has recently been placed in Golf World's 'Top 100 Courses in the World'.