Brandhall Golf Club's fate sealed as closure plan backed despite protests
Oldbury's Brandhall Golf Club will be closed to make way for a housing estate and a school despite a protest to save it from the axe.
The 18-hole course off Heron Road is now not expected to reopen despite the relaxation of lockdown rules enforced in March.
In October last year the council announced plans to shut the 116 year-old club and build up to 520 homes, a park and relocate the ageing Causeway Green Primary School on the land.
The plans led to protest from golfers who fought for it to remain open and nearby residents who feared the housing development would increase the risk of flooding to their homes.
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Councillor Marie Crompton, cabinet member for active communities, moving the recommendation to close the golf course told Sandwell’s cabinet: “We have not made this decision lightly.
“We need more accessible – by all – green space and a new school to replace Causeway Green which has been in need of replacement for a very, very long time.”
Councillor Yvonne Davies, leader of the council, backed the move saying it hadn’t been possible to satisfy protestors’ objections, adding: “Some people will never agree but it is the right thing.
“I would ask people to recognise that the amount of work that has been put in and the evidence we have looked at does mean we have examined all possible options.”
The authority says it spends £275,000 a year subsidising the course while there is an over supply of golf facilities in the borough.
In February a meeting of the The Safer Neighbourhoods and Active Communities Scrutiny Board recommended the possibility of club members running it as a community asset or reduced its size to nine holes to help keep it open.
But in the report to yesterday’s cabinet council officers dismissed both options saying: “The council, to date, has not formally received a detailed business and operation plan for this option.
“An outline proposal has been received from a club member, informally, but this includes the retention of a full length nine-hole course which may be problematic”.
“The retention and conversion of the facility as a nine-hole golf course would not be viable and would still result in an oversupply of golf courses locally.”
The decision to close was met with dismay by club members.
Dave Willets, who played at the course for 20 years, commented on Facebook: “The decision of the cabinet has been passed so we are finished.”
The closure will have go to all councillors to be ratified but due to the Covid-19 no full council meetings have been scheduled for the remainder of this year.