A golfer is standing to be his area's next MP in a bid to save inner London's only public golf course from being lost forever.

At an awareness-raising open competition on March 15, David Hansom announced he would be standing as an independent for Lewisham West and Penge in May's election on behalf of the Save the Beckenham 18 campaign.

It comes after Lewisham Council announced it had secured £4.9m in Lottery funding to redevelop Beckenham Place Park - at the expense of its 107-year-old golf course.

But campaigners say the council's consultation process was flawed, the golf course is used by a larger, more diverse group of people than claimed and it has been allowed to decline through local authority neglect.

Mr Hansom, who will face a tough battle against incumbent Labour MP Jim Dowd, said he hoped he could raise the profile of his campaign ahead of a full council consultation on the controversial plans.

He said: "The problem with the way Lewisham behaved with the park issue is they've rather assumed what people want. 

"Their consultations were poor. It feels like local government from the top down. That's the general feeling in the local area anyway, of an agenda being dictated to people."

Alongside the golf course, the Sydenham 66-year-old said his 35 years in market research would help him get to the core of what other issues were really important to voters.

He said: "When you elect me, I'll ensure that as your MP I'm guided by you rather than telling you what I think you should hear."

Earlier this month, Lewisham Council said it was trying to develop proposals "to attract more people of all ages to visit the park, that focus on restoring much of the park’s heritage features and vastly increasing the opportunities for leisure and recreation for visitors from Lewisham and beyond."

A petition against the closure has been signed by 1,914 people including Nick Faldo. To sign up, visit the epetitions website or the Save Beckenham Place Park golf course Facebook page.