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, Temple Newsam Golf Club has welcomed the support for retaining golf provision from 71.4% 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. An online petition in support of the club has also gathered over 2,880 signatures to date.
The consultation ran between December and March, discussing proposals including creating a café and cycle trails on the land occupied by the golf club. It included possibly reducing the 27 holes or removing the golf facilities altogether.
The final results of the 2,164 consultation responses were discussed at a meeting of Leeds City Council’s Environment, Housing & Communities Scrutiny Board on June 18, after a request was made by Conservative 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.
The golf club’s proposed design included keeping the large majority, if not all, of the holes originally designed by course architect and Leeds resident, Dr Alister MacKenzie. Temple Newsam was also the home club of Poppy Wingate, the first woman to compete in a men’s professional golf competition during the 1933 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament held at Temple Newsam.
During this week’s meeting held on June 18, 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.
Dean Hardy, 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.”
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Sam Firth commented: “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.”
Temple Newsam Golf Club directors Kevin Gallagher, Charlie Brown (chair), Michael Murray and Dean Hardy