Darlington golf club merger plan consultation under way

The Northern Echo: MERGER PLAN: Golfers at Stressholme Golf Course, near Darlington MERGER PLAN: Golfers at Stressholme Golf Course, near Darlington

CONSULTATION is under way on plans to merge two neighbouring golf clubs in a North-East town, potentially paving the way for a future multi-million pound executive housing development.

Plans are on the table for privately-owned Blackwell Grange Golf Club, in Darlington, to take over the nearby council-run Stressholme Golf Course.

On Thursday (November 8), Blackwell members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the plans, which would see a combined golf club opened on the Stressholme site.

Darlington Borough Council, which runs Stressholme, has now launched a public consultation on the plans.

The council decided to look at options for the future of Stressholme for a variety of reasons, including increased pressure on town hall budgets.

It currently subsidises the site to the tune of about £178,000 per year.

If the proposed deal went ahead, Blackwell would buy the Stressholme site, with the council buying part of the land at Blackwell, which it would then look to sell on in the future for executive housing.

Both parties would share the proceeds of any future sale of this land.

The council already owns a portion of the land at Blackwell, which it leases to the golf club.

Residents are invited to give their feedback on the plans, with December 31 the deadline for comments.

The council is looking for answers to the following questions: • Should the council sell Stressholme rather than continue to subsidise it?

• If the merger went ahead, would Darlington have the right amount and type of golf clubs?

• Should the council try and sell some of the land at Blackwell to raise income to improve other assets in Darlington?

• Would the merger would be good for Darlington’s economy?

A council spokesman said: “The council is also working to ensure our borough is a place where people want to live, work and do business in the future - attracting the very best investment and business minds is key to this.

“Freeing up land for possible sale for executive housing could attract this investment and bring income to the council of up to £8m which would be used to further improve the borough.”

The council’s cabinet will make a decision on the future of Stressholme in January.

To comment on the plans, visit darlington.gov.uk/golfconsultation or email golf.consultation@darlington.gov.uk.

Alternatively, write to Golf Consultation, Darlington Borough Council, Freepost DL64, Town Hall, Darlington, DL1 5BS.

Comments (2)

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8:44pm Fri 9 Nov 12

oliviaden6 says...

It will be a sad day at the demise of Stressholme. From where i am sitting there are a lot of suits going to make financial killing at the expense of the puiblic golfer. Come on boys belly up and be honest with your intentions dont forget the working man he likes to play golf. Will this go the same way as the wheellie bins voted through by very interested parties without proper and honest consultation. Be fair be clear and do not forget the man with the daily ticket who plays for the love of the game not the name.
It will be a sad day at the demise of Stressholme. From where i am sitting there are a lot of suits going to make financial killing at the expense of the puiblic golfer. Come on boys belly up and be honest with your intentions dont forget the working man he likes to play golf. Will this go the same way as the wheellie bins voted through by very interested parties without proper and honest consultation. Be fair be clear and do not forget the man with the daily ticket who plays for the love of the game not the name. oliviaden6
  • Score: 3

10:03pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Spy Boy says...

It was always on the table. I even mentioned it last year. The council want the Blackwell site back so that they can sell our green belt for the expanding number of executives out there. These ba . . . people are breeding at an alarming rate. Maybe time for a cull, like the poor old badgers. I feel that executives are a drain on our dwindling resources.

The council stand to make money both ways on this one. They can buy more tins of paint to make stupid traffic lanes on North Road. Does the guy who designs our roads actually drive a car ? I somehow doubt it. I'm just waitng for the first head-on crash outside Morrisons. I have had two near misses already this week. The road is too narrow for a bus lane to be added.

Back to the golf. I don't play, but I know plenty of people who will not be happy with this. Still we lost the Arts Centre and very few backed us to keep it open. No one is going to stop the council going ahead with this. And the wheelie bin deal is already rubber stamped. I thought we were still in consultation ? Get this bunch of self serving clowns out of office quick.
It was always on the table. I even mentioned it last year. The council want the Blackwell site back so that they can sell our green belt for the expanding number of executives out there. These ba . . . people are breeding at an alarming rate. Maybe time for a cull, like the poor old badgers. I feel that executives are a drain on our dwindling resources. The council stand to make money both ways on this one. They can buy more tins of paint to make stupid traffic lanes on North Road. Does the guy who designs our roads actually drive a car ? I somehow doubt it. I'm just waitng for the first head-on crash outside Morrisons. I have had two near misses already this week. The road is too narrow for a bus lane to be added. Back to the golf. I don't play, but I know plenty of people who will not be happy with this. Still we lost the Arts Centre and very few backed us to keep it open. No one is going to stop the council going ahead with this. And the wheelie bin deal is already rubber stamped. I thought we were still in consultation ? Get this bunch of self serving clowns out of office quick. Spy Boy
  • Score: 3

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