Leeds council admits it ‘could retain’ golf on Temple Newsam Golf Club site

Leeds City Council could yet make a dramatic U-turn on the future of golf in Temple Newsam, after the authority’s officers revealed they had been in talks to “retain golf” on the site.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 5:00 pm

It follows controversial plans from the council to replace Temple Newsam Golf Club with a family cycling centre, with the authority claiming it currently had to subsidise the facility by around £200,000-a-year.

But, following a backlash from the public and a number of Leeds city councillors, a meeting of the authority’s environment scrutiny board heard how discussing were taking place around how to keep golf on the site as well as revamping facilities.

Committee member Coun Matt Robinson (Con) told the meeting: “It’s an historic sporting and leisure asset for this city. It has a long history of encouraging golf across the city.

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Could golf remain on the Temple Newsam site?

“I understand there is a discussion about updated proposals that have been taken to executive board that may include an 18-hole course being retained at the club.

“How this will fit within the consultation will be of interest.”

A senior council officer responded: “When we reported this to members of the executive board, they asked us to look at other options, including the possible retention of golf, so we have built that into the work and we have extended te consultation period to allow us to do that.

“I would expect all those options to look at the final decision at some time in the spring next year.”

Following the council’s announcement at its decision-making executive board, last month, club members, including treasurer Dean Hardy, spoke publicly of the need to retain it.

Speaking to the committee, another council officer added: “I met Dean and his fellow directors last night. We had meaningful discussions where we can look at how we can make the business case work to retain golf on the site and increase footfall to the clubhouse.

“That work has just begun, it was really productive and we’re looking forward to working closely with directors to ensure we get something worthwhile out of this.

“The consultation is open, we are asking whether people would also like to see golf retained on site as a possible option, as well as other recreational facilities.

“Once we have the result of the consultation at the end of March, we hope to feed that back to executive board.”

He added that they hoped to have another option to go before decision makers in the spring, in addition to continuing to subsidise the current golf course facilities, or closing down the golf course and replacing it with other recreational facilities.

He said: “There could be another way where we can retain golf on the site, work with the site and develop some comprehensive facilities on there.”

The consultation on the future of Temple Newsam Golf Club is set to last until March 27. Following this, updated plans are expected to be brought before the council’s executive board for consideration.