Historic municipal course saved from closure after council U-turn

Temple Newsam Golf Course

Almost a century of golf on the Temple Newsam estate in Leeds looks set to continue after the results of a recent public consultation have been published.

Built in 1923, the historic Temple Newsam Golf Club has received support from over 70% of respondents to a Leeds City Council public consultation, which followed an initial council proposal to consult on closing the municipal golf club.

The support for golf rose to 77% among those who responded stating Temple Newsam was their local park.

The consultation ran between December and March, and included proposals including to create a café and cycle trails on the land presenting occupied by the golf club. It was suggested the 27-hole complex could be removed altogether.

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However, that now won't be happening after the local community rallied round the golfers.

An online petition in support of the club has gathered over 2,880 signatures to date, whilst the public consultation came down overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the current golf provisions.

The final results of the 2,164 consultation responses were discussed at a meeting of Leeds City Council’s Environment, Housing & Communities Scrutiny Board yesterday following a request by Councillor Sam Firth on behalf of the golf club.

In February, Temple Newsam Golf Club submitted a counter proposal to the Labour council administration, which suggested reducing their current 27 holes to 18 and incorporating all the council’s other proposals.

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The golf club’s proposed design included keeping the large majority, if not all, of the holes originally designed by world famous course architect and Leeds resident, Dr Alister MacKenzie.

During the meeting, Labour councillors confirmed their support for now retaining golf following the consultation and intention to work with the golf club to draw up a final 18-hole course design.

Council officers stated they expect to present a final council business case, including golf, to the council’s Executive Board in the autumn.

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Dean Hardy, the treasurer of Temple Newsam Golf Club, said: “Temple Newsam Golf Club Ltd 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.”

Cllr Sam Firth added: “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.”

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