Efforts to stall controversial Darlington golf club merger plan 'will fail'

Darlington and Stockton Times: MERGER PLAN: Golfers at stressholme Golf Course, Darlington, MERGER PLAN: Golfers at stressholme Golf Course, Darlington,

EFFORTS to delay the controversial merger of two neighbouring North-East golf clubs are doomed to failure, a council leader has warned.

Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet last week approved plans to sell-off the publicly-owned Stressholme Golf Course to the private members’ club at Blackwell Grange.

The deal, which involves the sale of the Stressholme land for £750,000 and the purchase of land at Blackwell for £1m, could be completed by July.

It could pave the way for a future executive housing development on land currently occupied by part of the Blackwell club.

Last week, Sport England director Peter Rowley criticised the plans, saying the council has a duty to maintain and protect municipal sports facilities.

Mr Rowley has property close to where a future housing development could spring up. The same applies to Clive Owen, senior partner in a Darlington firm of chartered accountants.

Mr Owen has written to all members of the council calling for the future of Stressholme to be reviewed by an independent panel over a period of six months.

He believes his proposal would be widely supported, but Darlington Council leader Bill Dixon has said there is no forum to discuss the meeting, as the cabinet has already approved the merger.

Related links

A full meeting of the council will be held on Thursday (February 28), but the golf club merger will only be discussed in the context of budget deliberations.

Mr Owen’s proposal includes six factors he would like to see an independent panel consider, including whether the land at Stressholme is worth more than the £750,000 the council is paying for it.

He said: “I am told by people far more knowledgeable than me that it could be worth northwards of £50m [if sold for development].

“If that is correct, it must be worth exploring in more detail.

“I do hope councillors will see the merit of reviewing a complex proposal, when there may be other solutions which are more favourable to the residents of Darlington.”

Coun Dixon said: “The reality is that Stressholme will not be built on, our planners have been very clear on that.

“If the merger did not go ahead, we would see one golf club closed by the council and another potentially lost to lack of members. This is the best result for the town.”

Coun Dixon added that Sport England had commended the thorough consultation process the council had conducted on the issue.

More Darlington News

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:51pm Mon 25 Feb 13

freelance says...

Northern Echo - sort this article -

Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet last week approved plans to sell-off the publicly-owned Stressholme Golf Course -

the £750,000 the council is paying for it.
Northern Echo - sort this article - Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet last week approved plans to sell-off the publicly-owned Stressholme Golf Course - the £750,000 the council is paying for it. freelance

8:37pm Mon 25 Feb 13

oliviaden6 says...

Another item gone west same as Durham council with the big house sale for 250000 when is was possibly worth 1.5 Million. Clearly it's not what one knows its WHOM. No wonder no one has confidence in Local government?
Another item gone west same as Durham council with the big house sale for 250000 when is was possibly worth 1.5 Million. Clearly it's not what one knows its WHOM. No wonder no one has confidence in Local government? oliviaden6

5:57pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Spy Boy says...

Sorry, figures don't add up. There are some serious amounts of money floating about. The sale price for Stressholm seems very low to me, so why is it being sold at such a low cost when we need so much money ? We're selling our assetts for coppers on a one off get-rich-quick exercise and the people of Darlington are not getting the benefit.

Also, someone is selling off green belt land on Grange Road for yet more executive houses. Too many houses and too many execs, no wonder we all suffer.

As for confidence in local government; I've only met a few pwoplw who do have confidence and they are the council. All singing from the same hymn sheet as usual. They obviously know which side the bread is buttered.
Sorry, figures don't add up. There are some serious amounts of money floating about. The sale price for Stressholm seems very low to me, so why is it being sold at such a low cost when we need so much money ? We're selling our assetts for coppers on a one off get-rich-quick exercise and the people of Darlington are not getting the benefit. Also, someone is selling off green belt land on Grange Road for yet more executive houses. Too many houses and too many execs, no wonder we all suffer. As for confidence in local government; I've only met a few pwoplw who do have confidence and they are the council. All singing from the same hymn sheet as usual. They obviously know which side the bread is buttered. Spy Boy

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree