England is, apparently, one of the most "crowded" countries in the world with a high population density and the population is growing quite quickly. This has prompted a variety of concerns about immigration and the possibility of "concreting over the countryside" with new build housing.
But a campaign group for the homeless and for better housing, Shelter, recently claimed that England uses as much land for Golf courses as for homes:
According to a comprehensive government assessment in 2011, that’s the same amount of land in England used for homes.*
*Data on homes is from the UK National Ecosystem Assessment by Defra. Around 10% of land in England is classified as urban, but the majority of this is gardens, parks, roads, lakes and rivers. 2.27% of land in England is built upon while 1.1% is domestic buildings.
For golf, Colin uses the figure of 2,700 courses in the UK scaled to England. The average size of playing area is 30-40 hectares with the average full size of a course (including space between fairways) adding another 30-40 hectares. Colin therefore assumes 75 hectares per course multiplied by 2000 courses which is 150,000 ha, or 1.1% of England’s 13.4m hectares.
Are their assumptions reasonable? Is their claim correct?