Golf club will sell up to a housing developer and relocate

Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham January 13, 2016 12:35

Darlington Golf Club is set relocate to a new venue so that its current location can be converted into housing.

Amazingly, it’s the second golf club in Darlington to do this in less than three years.


Darlington Golf Club

Its members have voted 221-36 to back a partnership with developer Theakston Estate, which owns arable farmland near the golf club. Under the deal the developer would purchase the land the golf club currently resides on and the club would move to the farmland and build a new course and clubhouse there.

The proposal has already been granted planning permission by the local authority.

Club chairman David Peat said the move would secure the future of the club and ensure it would not need to merge with neighbouring venues.

He said: “Over the past few years we and most other golf clubs have been struggling to make ends meet and the signs indicate that things could, and probably will, get worse as we all fight for a limited number of members.

“This proposal allows us to build a course of our choice, have an efficient clubhouse and facilities, affordable subscriptions and a strong balance sheet to make continuous improvement, all of this without any disruption to playing golf or any risk to our organisation.

“We believe that this unique opportunity only comes around once in a lifetime and provides facilities and a solid financial base to take us forward into the future.

“The proposal was positively received with the overwhelming majority in support. This is a win-win situation for us, the developer and the town as it strives to meet its housing needs.”

Christopher Harrison, of Theakston Estates, added: “Since 2008, we estimate that Darlington Borough Council has delivered only 50 percent of the houses that it needs to meet requirements so this plan would help it move closer to its target.

“The members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a proposal which would see the club move nearer to the site where it was created a century ago and which would also allow houses to be built on the current site of the club.”

While the club has not publicly disclosed how much it will make from the move, The Northern Echo said the club was offered a ‘substantial sum of money’.

The club was founded in 1908 and was recently awarded a £57,000 Sport England grant to invest in an all-weather practice and coaching area, including an eight bay driving range.

The development comes less than three years after Stressholme Golf Course, also in Darlington, was sold to Blackwell Grange Golf Club, in deal that saw Darlington Borough Council buy land from Blackwell Grange that was then sold to a housing developer to build luxury homes.


Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham January 13, 2016 12:35
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