Future of Brandhall Golf Course
We would like to thank everyone who took part in the extensive consultation about the future of Brandhall Golf Course. We were keen to hear what people thought about the proposed closure of the golf course and club house.
We also asked people about potential alternative uses for the site – including a new park accessible to the whole community, a brand-new school and much-needed homes for local people.
This consultation, which ran from 7 November to 19 December 2019, gave everyone the chance to have their say before a final decision was taken on the future of the course.
Following the consultation, we collated responses and presented a report on the findings to the Safer Neighbourhoods and Active Communities Scrutiny Board on 27 February. All comments and views have been fully considered.
A report went to the council's Cabinet meeting for a final decision on 27 May. Cabinet approved a recommendation to close Brandhall Golf Course and Club House.
The course has been closed for more than two months due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and it will remain closed following the Cabinet decision on 27 May.
Background to the proposed closure
Sandwell Council proposed the closure of Brandhall Golf Course for the following reasons:
- use of the course and golf membership at Brandhall have reduced significantly over recent years
- there are sufficient other golf facilities in Sandwell and within a 20-minute drive of Sandwell
- the council is currently subsidising the course and would also need to spend a lot more money to bring it up to an appropriate standard
- the course is underused by Sandwell residents
- the site and money could be better used for your local community
The council’s proposals for potential future uses of the site include:
- A new park
Oldbury and the ward of Old Warley have the lowest amount of accessible open space in Sandwell. We could provide a significantly sized park that the local community has open access to. This would be the first new major public park in Sandwell’s history.
- A brand-new school to replace Causeway Green Primary School
The school is in poor physical condition and it’s a priority to replace it.
- Housing for local people
There is a critical need for housing across Sandwell and the borough has a shortage of land suitable for building houses. Part of the site could be used to help provide some of these much-needed houses.
Summary of consultation
The extensive public consultation exercise included local drop-in sessions, an online survey and meetings with members of the golf club and committee members, as well as members of the public writing to express their views.
The council promoted the consultation as widely as possible and reached approximately 35,000 people via routes outlined above as well as social media and the internet. The council twice wrote to more than 2,000 local households (approximately 5,107 people) to inform them about the consultation and how to take part.
A total of 712 residents completed the survey, an estimated 100 people attended the drop-in sessions and 37 people wrote directly to us to express their views.
The majority of people who took part in the survey said they never or rarely use the facility.
Objections to the council’s proposals were expressed by some golfers and residents. These were mainly captured at face-to-face sessions and via written enquiries.
Most survey respondents felt that the amenities the council is proposing are important, with most respondents preferring our development option with the largest amount of accessible open space alongside new housing and a school.
The consultation findings supported the outcomes of a Golf Needs Assessment carried out previously – i.e. that the facility is underused by Sandwell residents in general. Some residents did raise concerns – however, we believe that many of these can be mitigated in future development proposals.
The full consultation report can be read in the Cabinet report papers (Appendix 4).
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