Council considers future of Brackenwood Golf Course

The former Brackenwood golf course could be used for sports pitches, improved biodiversity and community access and possibly even allotments under proposals being put forward.

The council has been considering the future and potential transfer of Brackenwood Golf Course since its closure, in March 2022, as part of the authority’s 2022/23 Budget process.

However, a transfer to Brackenwood Community Golf Limited was unable to progress after the organisation told the council that they had concluded it was not viable to re-open the course as an 18-hole golf course.

As the asset transfer was unable to go ahead as agreed this means a decision is needed on the future use of this site and the report puts forward recommendations for councillors to consider.

The golf course is located in the Green Belt and is therefore protected from inappropriate development – such as residential use – and only has value for open space or outside sports and recreation uses which are compatible with the site’s Green Belt status.

Brackenwood Community Golf Limited has said it is willing to develop, with the council, a proposal for the site which provides for a short form of golf, a driving range and an increased number of grass playing pitches. 

However, Brackenwood Golf Club has said it is disappointed with the view of Brackenwood Community Golf Limited and has itself advised that it would like an opportunity to bring forward a community asset transfer proposal with another golf operator to provide an 18-hole golf course with two full-sized grass playing pitches

Alternative uses of the site have been considered in the report. An independent valuation estimated the site’s value at £950,000 for use as a golf course and other open space recreation uses, though the actual value would only be determined following a full marketing exercise.

Another bid for community asset transfer is also an option, though the report highlights that the risk is, given the recent decision of Brackenwood Community Golf Limited, that any future asset transfer proposals may also turn out not be viable.

The report to councillors recommends that the authority instead retains the former Brackenwood Golf Course and use it for a combination of grass playing pitches for a variety of sports (without floodlights), Biodiversity Net Gain, to support the Council’s Local Plan, with improved community access for residents and to explore the opportunities for allotments (for which there is a significant demand in Wirral) on part of the site.

The report will be presented to Wirral Council’s Policy and Resources Committee at their meeting on 17 July 17.

Read the full report from the committee meeting agenda published the council website – scroll down to Item 6 – and watch the proceedings of the committee online live or as playback from the webcast link on the agenda.

Image credit: Brackenwood Golf Course

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