Senior council bosses in Leeds to discuss plans for new visitor facilities at Temple Newsam
Senior councillors in Leeds will discuss proposals to invest £1.2million in a range of new leisure facilities at Temple Newsam golf course at a meeting next week.
The meeting of the council’s executive board on Thursday 24 September will be asked to approve plans which would alter the current golf course facilities to offer a new road safety park, walking and cycling trails, a café, a children’s play area and landscaping improvements to recreate some of the rich history of the estate and offer a potential new event space. The golf course would remain, with the current offer reduced from 27 to 18 holes.
The proposals were first announced last year, with the aim of increasing the number of visitors to the golf course area by providing new visitor facilities and trails, addressing the declining use of the golf facilities over the last 10 years which has resulted in an annual cost to the council which is now over £200,000 a year.
The proposals were first announced last year, with the aim of encouraging more people to explore and enjoy the golf course area and its impressive views by providing new trails and visitor facilities. The developments would help address the declining use of the golf facilities over the last 10 years which has resulted in an annual cost to the council which is now over £200,000 a year.
Public consultation on the plans was undertaken, which received responses from more than 2,000 members of the public as well as Temple Newsam Golf Club.
In line with the feedback given in the consultation, the plans aim to offer an integrated solution, with golf provision retained as an 18-hole offer for the many people who like to play golf there, alongside the new family-friendly facilities which it is hoped will deliver a significant increase in visitors to, and use of, the site. The changes are expected to result in the cost to the council being reduced by over £70,000 a year.
The proposed facilities targeted at families and younger children include the road safety park and an easy cycling trail, where children can learn to ride a bike in an original, fun and safe environment, and a brand new playground.
Several kilometres of walking and cycling trails are also proposed to enable people of all ages and abilities to discover, and learn more about, previously little-known areas of the historic estate which was designed originally by famous landscape architect Capability Brown. And when visitors have finished exploring, a café will be provided in an attractive setting overlooking the park. It is suggested that the new café and toilet facilities are located in the existing golf clubhouse building, which will be adapted to host them while maintaining space for Temple Newsam Golf Club.
Also a popular suggestion with consultees, the landscaping work will also make the area better for wildlife through habitat creation, with tree planting proposed to contribute to the council’s commitment to tackle the climate emergency and improve air quality. It will also offer new outdoor event space, with the aim of reducing the impact of the popular events programme at the park on the main visitor area near Temple Newsam House and local residents.
Leeds City Council executive member for environment and active lifestyles Councillor Mohammed Rafique said:
“This plan offers an ideal integrated solution to make the Temple Newsam Estate an even more attractive, inclusive and enjoyable place to visit for people of all ages. The new facilities would deliver a wide range of benefits, offering an exciting future for the golf course site while reducing the burden on the taxpayer. It is important to say we have also listened to what people have told us and these plans offer a balance to try and meet everyone’s needs, so we’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation and helped us reach this point.”
To see the executive board report, go to: www.democracy.leeds.gov.uk