Council plan to spend more than £1m buying historic golf house then demolish it to make way for Wakefield traveller site

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Wakefield Council is planning to spend more than £1m to buy a former golf house before demolishing the building to make way for a new traveller site.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands the authority is considering flattening the 125-year-old building on Heath Common once public money has been used to purchase the property.

Senior councillors are pressing ahead with the controversial plan which has been met with criticism from local councillors and residents groups.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Council wants to acquire the property as it faces a tight deadline to provide more permanent pitches for the local traveller community.

Old Golf House, Heath CommonOld Golf House, Heath Common
Old Golf House, Heath Common

Purchasing the Old Golf House would allow the Council to lift a restrictive covenant prohibiting development on nearby land.

Read More
Heath Common battery energy storage farm site ‘could contain prehistoric, Roman ...

It would mean an extension to the existing Heath Common traveller site could then go ahead, costing at least £5.8m

Wakefield Council has not yet made the financial details of the Golf House purchase publicly available.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
The Old Golf House, Heath Common, WakefieldThe Old Golf House, Heath Common, Wakefield
The Old Golf House, Heath Common, Wakefield

But it is understood that it has agreed to purchase the house for £475,000, plus stamp duty and “associated fees”.

It is also understood that the property owners will be offered an interest-free ‘relocation loan’ of £475,000 as part of the deal, along with “reasonable moving costs” of £10,000. suggests the current market value of the Golf House is in the region of £268,000.

According to Land Registry figures, it last sold for £210,000 in May 2019.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
The Old Golf House when it was occupied by Wakefield Golf ClubThe Old Golf House when it was occupied by Wakefield Golf Club
The Old Golf House when it was occupied by Wakefield Golf Club

It is believed demolition of the property would cost around £100,000.

Wakefield Council anticipate a sum of around £200,000 will be required to build a new access road to the site.

The Council says it is legally obliged to accommodate travelling families.

The site at Heath Common is identified in the emerging Wakefield District Local Plan 2036, a document which is in the process of being finalised.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Residents groups, including Heath Residents’ Association, have opposed the plans and have been critical of spiralling costs in recent months.

A letter sent by the group to Cabinet members earlier this month, stated: “At present Wakefield Council is trying to stem a £85 million gap in expenditure.

“This is a tremendous amount of money and the present cost of the proposed new traveller site, at £5.8 million, is a large amount of money to come out of the public purse.”

A scrutiny committee also took the rare step of ‘calling in’ an earlier Cabinet decision to acquire the Old Golf House.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Committee members accused senior councillors of “sneaking the decision through the back door.”

Heath Common was the original home of Wakefield Golf Club, which opened in 1892.

The clubhouse building opened in October 1897.

Wakefield Golf Club relocated to Woodthorpe in 1911 but the original clubhouse building remains as a residential property.

Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council’s Corporate Director for Communities, Environment and Climate Change, said: “Nothing has been finalised.

“Our discussions are commercially sensitive and confidential so we cannot comment any further.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.