Council receives offer to buy golf club

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 18, 2022 12:00

Breckland Council has received an offer to buy Barnham Broom in Norfolk, a resort featuring two golf courses.

According to reports, the council is set to discuss whether it should sell the 257-acre site, an asset the district council has owned for just over 16 years.

The resort includes a hotel, spa and two golf courses, and is run by a tenant who rents the land and buildings from the council.

The council bought the golf club in 2006 for £7 million and has spent more than £3 million on the facility since.

However, it is thought to have been considering selling the club for just £2 million.

The Eastern Daily Press states that an ‘unsolicited offer for the site’ has been put to the council.

A council report states that it considers the offer to be ‘worthy of serious consideration’.

Paul Hewett, executive member for assets and contracts, said: “The Barnham Broom asset has generated a significant and consistent stream of rental income for the council, and helped fund the delivery of local services for approaching two decades.

Barnham Broom. Image from Facebook

“This was the reason for which it was made – to generate income rather than act as a speculative growth vehicle.

“However, all of our investment assets are potentially up for sale for the right price and having received a strong offer at a time of increasing yields in other asset classes it is absolutely right that we consider selling.

“This deal presents an opportunity to release funding, which we can then potentially reinvest and continue to support people right across Breckland.”

The sale of the club has been particularly controversial because the press and public were excluded from a council meeting about the club on the grounds of commercial confidentiality.

The council then rejected a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of those discussions to be made public.

In July, the Information Commissioner’s Office said the council had ‘failed to demonstrate’ why the minutes and rental income needed to be redacted, and ordered Breckland to publish the details.

Breckland Council council has since appealed against the ruling and is taking the case to a tribunal.

A council spokesperson said ‘due to commercial confidentiality’ further details about the proposed sale cannot be released at this time.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 18, 2022 12:00
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