Bunkered Brackenwood: plans to keep the course closed leave golfers feeling rough

By Ed Barnes

30th Jan 2023 | Local News

“The recommendation from officers is grossly unfair and undermines the whole process.”
“The recommendation from officers is grossly unfair and undermines the whole process.”

Plans to keep a golf course shut have been called "a kick in the teeth" to campaigners hoping to reopen it.

The Brackenwood Golf Course closed along with a golf course in Hoylake in 2022 after Wirral Council passed a series of cuts to set a balanced budget for that year.

Since then, several closed libraries and other sites have begun a process of moving management into community hands. This is separate from the current budget options for 2023 and 2024.

For Brackenwood, two business plans were submitted but the council has rejected both arguing a reopened golf course would compete with golf courses at Arrowe Park and The Warren.

Wirral Council is now proposing to invest in new pitches which the local authority said it requires to meet commitments in its draft Local Plan that sets out the council's housing policy.

It also proposes increasing biodiversity on the site but no detail has been given at this stage. The option will be voted on by councillors on February 2 and be funded through contributions from housing developers and externally. It would be brought back in June for further debate.

Cllr Jason Walsh said: "This is a kick in the teeth for Brackenwood Golf Club who have been campaigning hard and working with the bids to secure a future for the course.

"The council are now throwing in last minute curve balls to undermine the bids. Brackenwood Golf Club have been brilliant and they have worked really hard with us to discuss how they can improve biodiversity in the area including tree planting and increase access for golf to people who can't afford private clubs.

"Over the last year volunteers have been maintaining the greens and fairways, increasing the number of footpaths for the public to use and have hosted several community days including in the park they have been maintaining on behalf of the council. They did all of this in good faith the CAT process would be fair.

"The recommendation from officers is grossly unfair and undermines the whole process."

Cllr Walsh wants a rethink on the recommendations for the golf course arguing the pitches would flood in winter.

A council report said reopening Brackenwood would create "significant risks" for the council, adding: "The likely outcome would be that all three courses would run at a loss, the situation that the Council sought to avoid by closing two out of its four courses. That outcome would benefit nobody."

The report also mentioned appeals by the Leverhulme Estate on its applications for houses on green belt land across Wirral. It said in this context, "it is considered on balance, that the higher priority is supporting the delivery of the Local Plan and the brownfield first strategy to enable housing delivery and protection of the Green Belt."

Keith Marsh, Secretary of Brackenwood Golf Club, said: "We believe that we can deliver significant ecological improvements for the area, create a green space for all to access for recreation whilst also providing a leisure facility. We believe that this creates a win-win situation for the Wirral community whilst safeguarding the greenbelt.

"The huge amount of comments on our social media platforms along with the 3,500 online and more than 600 paper based signatures on our petition submitted to the council demonstrates the strength of feeling."

Mr Marsh said the business plans would offer free golf for children under 16s and affordable prices for adults and avoid possible impacts on wildlife as a result of construction.

He added: "We call on Wirral council and councillors to rethink this possible path, and allow this greenbelt land to have a sustainable future for the whole community. Something we know the whole community want."


New heswall Jobs Section Launched!!
Vacancies updated hourly!!
Click here: heswall jobs


Related Articles

Hardwicke Circus is currently on a nationwide tour, bringing their original sound to Stonegate pubs all over the UK. (Credit: Ben Shahrabi)
Local News

Hits a GoGo: Hardwicke Circus releases a tongue-in-cheek bid for chart victory - listen to the single

Michael Crawshaw with his latest work 'The Gerasimov Doctrine' (Image by Nub News)
Local News

'I thought the premise was a bit silly': Michael Crawshaw on writing, Russia and outsiders in his new book, The Gerasimov Doctrine

Sign-Up for our FREE Newsletter

We want to provide Heswall with more and more clickbait-free local news.
To do that, we need a loyal newsletter following.
Help us survive and sign up to our FREE weekly newsletter.

Already subscribed? Thank you. Just press X or click here.
We won't pass your details on to anyone else.
By clicking the Subscribe button you agree to our Privacy Policy.