�500,000 Moby Dick golf course to open in Chadwell Heath in 2014

A Moby Dick amusement golf course featuring a sailing ship, whale and waterfall is to open in Chadwell Heath next year.

The �500,000 course in Chadwell Heath will pay tribute to the Herman Melville novel about sailors chasing a mysterious whale during a journey of exploration and discovery delving into social class, good and evil and the existence of God.

Families will putt balls through the mouth of a 9ft miniature sperm whale, golf in a cave by the side of a waterfall and follow a course along a shallow lake in which a 24ft whaleship will be berthed.

Sited opposite the Moby Dick pub in Whalebone Lane North, the minigolf course will seek to illustrate the purported discovery of a washed-up whale in Dagenham in 1790 and the public display of whale bones in Chadwell Heath in Victorian times.

Councillors gave the 18-hole amusement course the green light at Barking Town Hall last night.

Cranfield Golf Course in Whalebone Lane North hopes to unveil the course in spring 2014.

Golf course owner Simon Preston, 46, said: “This is great news for us and for the community.

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“Around London there isn’t a huge amount of money put in new projects so this is very exiting.”

Mr Preston said the family golf course would cost around �500,000 to build.

Works could start as early as April and are to last between six and eight months, he added.

Barking and Dagenham Council said the nearest property was around 200ft from the site, adding the plans had not been met with any opposition.

Town planners recommended that the project be approved and councillors gave the project the go-ahead yesterday, said Cllr Inder Singh Jamu, the chairman of Barking and Dagenham’s development control board.