An Update on North Worcestershire Golf Club – 16 April 2014


Along with local Labour Councillors, for some time now I’ve been raising the widespread concerns of residents about North Worcestershire Golf Club’s (NWGC) announcement that they want to sell of the Golf Course in Northfield for redevelopment by Bloor Homes. We promised to keep residents informed so here is an update.

Bloor Homes, officers of NWGC and their advisors, Harris Lamb, asked to meet the local Labour team recently and a meeting with representatives took place on April 15 2014.

In the course of the meeting:

  • Officers of NWGC told us that long term problems with membership levels had worsened dramatically, meaning the Club was rapidly becoming unviable. They said they had explored many alternatives before any discussions took place with Bloor about the sale of the land for redevelopment, but they believe none are practical and therefore the Golf Club will cease to exist.
  • They have signed an exclusive partnership deal with Bloor to prepare a plan with a view to changing the Council’s Planning framework to allow redevelopment, with a view to using 55 acres of the 80 acre site for housing with other facilities and public open space also being envisaged on the site.
  • Bloor had already undertaken “due diligence” in respect of their deal with NWGC.
  • Bloor Homes said their view is that building on the Golf Course would meet sustainability criteria, and that they would guarantee drainage work would be undertaken to remove flood risk.
  • Bloor and their/the Club’s advisors are planning a public consultation exercise before the summer, to seek residents views on what they would like to see on the Golf Course site.
  • Later in the year they hope to develop a master plan for site,
  • The Club, Bloor Homes and their advisors have said they will continue dialogue with us over the coming months.

The points which Labour Councillors and I put forward included:

  • There is real and widespread public opposition to building on the Golf Course.
  • The current Council planning framework precludes redevelopment.
  • We still have major concerns about flood risks, and would want to see evidence to back up assurances that building on the site would not increase those risks.
  • We are surprised and concerned to be told that the financial position of the Club had deteriorated so rapidly in the course of one year to make sale the only option, when we were told by the Club as recently as last year that sale and redevelopment was not being considered.
  • We are surprised that the Club feels it has been able to thoroughly consider, re-consider and reject all other alternatives to sale and redevelopment in the short time that has elapsed since it has concluded its viability to be under threat, even though the land it owns remains a multi-million pound asset.
  • We asked for more details of alternatives considered to stabilise the Clubs finances, raise income and avoid redevelopment. We said we may come back to the Club with further questions on these matters.
  • We are concerned that until this meeting there had been no communication from Club officers to elected members about the change in their circumstances from that notified to us last year, and that discussions have only been sought after the Club has already agreed an exclusive deal with Bloor homes. We believe the anger amongst residents living in the area about the absence of dialogue to date to be even more profound.
  • We said that we would be willing to have further conversations with the Club and its partners going forward, but that this should not be taken as a softening of our opposition to redevelopment on behalf of local people. We also said they urgently needed to address the level of their communication with people living in the area who would be affected by any redevelopment of the Golf Course.

As you will see from the above, it was a tense meeting without many conclusions. However, we believe it is crucially important that local people are kept up to date.

Any comments or views are welcome. Please e-mail the Longbridge Labour team c/o, or write to Richard Burden MP, House of Commons London SW1A 0AA

Richard Burden MP

Councillor Ian Cruise (Longbridge ward)

Councillor Andy Cartwright (Longbridge ward)

Councillor Jess Phillips (Longbridge ward)

Steve Booton (Weoley Ward)


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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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