Yorkshire golf: Clock ticking down in fight to state Bradley Park's case against being given over to housing

Bradley Park municipal golf course, in Huddersfield, could be closed to make way for housing.
Bradley Park municipal golf course, in Huddersfield, could be closed to make way for housing.

PEOPLE interested in lodging objections to Kirklees Council's proposal to build homes on the site of Bradley Park municipal golf course are running out of time.

The award-winning municipal course, which is on greenbelt land in Huddersfield, was opened in 1977, but is facing closure a year short of its 40th anniversary.

Bradley Park has a golf club - formed in 1978 - operating from it and they are leading the fight to preserve the course, the only municipal in Huddersfield.

Their president, Keith Waddington, is urging people to register their interest in keeping Bradley Park golf course open, not just for Bradley Park GC's 200-plus members, but also for the sake of "nomadic" golfers who do not belong to a club.

"The uniqueness of Bradley Park is that it provides affordable golf," said Mr Waddington. "A big issue from our point of view is the nomadic golfer because that is a big market; people who play golf but are not members of a golf club.

"If Bradley Park is closed they will not necessarily be able to afford to play or become members at other clubs in Huddersfield."

The date for commenting on the proposal was extended from December 21 to February, but despite the extra time he feels there will still be many who have not yet registered their concern.

"The ability to be able to register and counted closes on Monday, February 1," he continued. "The council will then review all these comments et cetera and, as I understand it, the matter will come up before a council meeting in September when a decision will be made; along with 200 other sites, there will be a decision made as to whether it goes forward or not.

"With a bit of luck, or I would say lots of luck, Bradley Park will then come off the list. If it does not then it goes into phase two of the process when it will be open for people to lobby and to have a public debate, and for the people who make decisions on these things to decide whether it has been fair and whether it is right."

Mr Waddington says the simplest way to voice concern is to write an email to Kirklees Council using the address local.development@kirklees.gov.uk.

Objections can also be raised via a website - http://consult.kirklees.gov.uk/portal - but he says the complexities involved with this method led to the six-week extension.

Only recently, Bradley Park GC received the GolfMark award from England Golf, an accolade that recognised the work they are doing to grow the sport and ensure its future.

"The course does tick every box in terms of the criteria that the council have set out, so they cannot say that it is not doing what it is supposed to do," continued Mr Waddington.

"Has it made millions? No. Has it made coppers? No. Has it made dozens of thousands? Yes - it is definitely a viable concern."

He has been a member for 20 years, and before assuming his present role acted as Rabbits Captain and Captain.

Should Bradley Park course be given over to housing, he says "what they will have lost is an award-winning, super quality golf course that makes a contribution. It is such a short-sighted policy it is unbelievable."