Temple Newsam golf club ‘overwhelmed’ by support as it looks to stay open

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Members and campaigners who had been protesting plans to close a popular east Leeds golf club have rejoiced this week after learning plans to do so have been scaled back.

Plans for the future of Leeds City Council-owned Temple Newsam Golf Club which emerged last year included the option of removing the facility entirely and replacing it with family cycling facilities.

However, following a public consultation, a report which went before councillors earlier this month reported 54 percent of respondents supported the plans to instead reduce the size of the golf club from 27 to 18 holes.

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The club currently houses two courses – the 18-hole Lord Irwin and the nine-hole Lady Dorothy courses. New plans involve having nine holes on both courses.

Temple Newsam Golf Club.Temple Newsam Golf Club.
Temple Newsam Golf Club.

Although the site is owned by Leeds City Council, it is run by Temple Newsam Golf Club Ltd, whose treasurer Dean Hardy said were overwhelmed by public support.

He said: “Temple Newsam Golf Club are so pleased to receive overwhelming support from the public.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign over many months to save our club, including our members, local residents, the Friends of Temple Newsam Park and opposition Leeds City councillors.”

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Conservative councillor Sam Firth, who had been campaigning for the club to remain open, said: “After months of uncertainty for the golf club, this council U-turn is welcome. I hope the administration deliver on their pledge and work with the club to make a great success of golf at Temple Newsam.”

A consultation ran between December 2019 and March 2020, discussing proposals including creating a café and cycle trails on the land occupied by the Temple Newsam golf club. It followed the ‘Stop Leeds City Council potential closure of Temple Newsam Golf Club / Course petition’, which was submitted to Leeds City Council ahead of the executive board meeting in October 2019.

A report which went before council decision-makers earlier this month, stated: “Following a comprehensive and wide-reaching public consultation which received feedback from over 2,000 people, it can be concluded that a majority of consultees would like to see the size of the golf provision at Temple Newsam reduced.

“Furthermore the findings support the development of a range of visitor facilities including cycling and walking trails, a road-safety park, a café, a play area, a new event space and improvements to the landscape to improve heritage and habitat value.”

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Plans to scrap the golf course entirely and replace it with a family cycling centre emerged in 2019, 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 in November 2019 how discussing were taking place around how to keep golf on the site as well as revamping facilities.

Final proposals are expected to go before the council’s decision-making executive committee later this year.