Consultation proposed on future of Brandhall Golf Course

06/11/2019
Consultation proposed on future of Brandhall Golf Course

A six-week consultation on the future of Brandhall Golf Course in Oldbury will start tomorrow (Thursday 7 November).

People will be asked to give their views on a proposal to close the golf course and club house as well as potential alternative uses for the site.

Sandwell Council is putting forward possible options to create a new public park and build a new school to replace the existing ageing buildings at Causeway Green Primary as well as much-needed new homes.

Last Wednesday (30 October), the council’s Cabinet approved a public consultation on both the proposed closure and possible options for the future.

People can have their say via an online survey, email and three drop-in sessions, which will be held at Brandhall Library, Tame Road, on Tuesday 12 November (10am-1pm), Wednesday 27 November (1pm-4pm) and Monday 16 December (5pm-8pm).

The online survey will be available from Thursday 7 November.

The findings of the consultation will then be reported back to the council’s Cabinet for consideration early next year, so that a final decision can be taken on the future of the course and club house.

The proposal to close Brandhall Golf Course follows a detailed study the council has carried out on golf provision in Sandwell.

Research shows attendances at Brandhall have fallen by a quarter in five years, membership has dropped and the course costs £257,000 a year to keep open.

The course has 318 members, which is below the expected number of members for an 18-hole golf course. Nearly two-thirds of current members – 193 of the 318 – live outside Sandwell.

Around £3 million would need to be spent on major improvements to bring it up to the required standard for the future.

Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Yvonne Davies said: “We’re keen to hear what people think and this consultation will give everyone the chance to have their say.

“We’ve heard from some club members who are disappointed at our proposal to close the course and they will have six weeks of formal consultation to present their views to us.

“We have to consider how best to invest in the long-term future of the local community, so we also want to hear from local residents to make sure everyone’s needs are considered.”

Councillor Davies said the Brandhall site offered an opportunity to create the borough’s first new major public park in Sandwell’s 45-year history.

She added: “This would be a new park that everyone could access and enjoy, which would help promote physical activity and healthy living for all ages.

“A new school to serve local families could also be provided as well as new homes to meet people’s housing needs.”

The consultation will include three different options for the size of park that could be created alongside a school and homes if the course were to close. 

Any proposals to develop the site in the future would be subject to a detailed master plan for the site and planning permission. Local people would be fully consulted before any decisions were taken.

The proposal to close Brandhall Golf Course and club house follows a recommendation from the Sandwell Sport and Leisure Built Facilities Strategy Members Steering Group. In January 2018, the council’s Cabinet asked for further reports on long-term golf provision in Sandwell and potential alternative uses for the site.

An external report commissioned by the council found an “over-supply” of golf provision in Sandwell, with seven facilities competing for the same customers. These include 18-hole, nine-hole and pitch and putt courses. There are more than 30 further golf facilities within 20 minutes’ drive from the borough boundary.

The municipal golf course at Brandhall is currently operated by Sandwell Leisure Trust for Sandwell Council.