Work has started on a 92-home Northumberland housing development that effectively saved a county golf club from closure.
Newcastle-based housebuilder Bellway is constructing two, three and four-bedroom homes on part of Blyth Golf Club’s 18-hole course, off Plessey Road, Blyth.
The golf club has welcomed the houses, saying the money from Bellway for a parcel of land which included the course’s 10th and 11th holes has saved their club from shutting down.
Ian Henderson, the chairman at Blyth Golf Club, told council planners that without the land cash from Bellway the golf club would be ‘staring closure in the face’.
The golf club is using the money to re-design its course, improve facilities and tackle its large overdraft.
Without the Bellway intervention, the bank would have withdrawn Blyth Golf Club’s overdraft facilities and it would probably have been forced to shut down.
Chris Lawson, Head of Sales for Bellway North East, said: “We’re delighted that this co-operation between Bellway North East and Blyth Golf Club has worked out so well.
“The golf club has got a financial lifeline which has secured its future and preserved a fantastic leisure resource for thousands of local people. As a local builder, we’re really pleased about that.
“In turn, we have secured a fantastic site for much-needed local housing, overlooking a golf course in one of Britain’s most beautiful counties!”
There were tears of relief from golf club supporters when the plan was approved by Ashington and Blyth Local Area Council in June.
The plan had received 88 letters of support from local people, including Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell.
As part of the planning agreement, Bellway will include 16 affordable homes in its development, including two bungalows.
The developer will also give £477,000 to local schools, £57,000 towards local healthcare and a £55,000 ecology contribution.