Residents have launched a campaign to save a century-old golf club which is to be dug up to build 800 new homes.
North Worcestershire Golf Club, in Northfield, has agreed to sell up to housing developer Bloor Homes, which is expected to mean more than 800 homes being built on the 80-acre site.
The deal prompted fury among neighbours, who claim the club in Frankley Beeches Road has reneged on a pledge not to sell out despite numerous previous offers.
Andrew Lamb, of agents Harris Lamb, said: “In light of declining membership, on going financial difficulties and the increasing trend of abating private golf club membership, the shareholders of the North Worcestershire have voted to look at potential redevelopment options for the future of their club.
“The site has historically been identified by Birmingham City Council as a possible site for 800 houses including extensive publicly accessible parks and other uses.
“The club in association with Harris Lamb have been working with Bloor Homes to look at possible development solutions for the site.
“All parties are committed to work with local stakeholders to identify a strategy which will deliver significant benefits for the local and wider community from this exciting site.”
A petition opposing the move with 400 signatures was presented to Birmingham City Council this week by Councillor Andy Cartwright (Lab, Northfield), who said he was concerned about the lack of information for local residents.
“North Worcestershire Golf Club has been there for a long time but I wish they would engage with the people,” he said.
“One thing I would like to see is residents around the golf club involved in it. They are playing with people’s lives, so let them have a say on it and let’s get around the table.”
He added: “I spoke to some people who have lived there for 60 years and are already on about selling their houses.”
In April last year the club, which was founded in 1907, announced it had turned down offers to buy it, despite being approached by several firms keen on turning it into a housing estate.
The interest was sparked after it was listed in Birmingham City Council’s 2031 plan for growth and economic development.
Local resident Becky Linehan said she had grave concerns about the loss of green belt land. She said: “Is it really necessary for another development with large developments at Longbridge, Ballam Wood and Leyhill?
“It is very sad that a small number of people who do not live in Northfield at the club can sell off a facility and green belt land of community interest. If they no longer wish to run the club why not sell it back to the council under the community right to bid.”
Northfield MP Richard Burden said he was concerned about lack of information for residents.
He said: “The matter came up at the city council’s Northfield District Committee last Friday and the meeting was unanimous in maintaining a position of opposition to building on the golf course.
“Cross-party opposition in the local area remains in place should a planning application be submitted.”
Hon Alderman David Osborne who lives in Elan Road opposite the golf course said there were two key concerns for residents.
“There appears to be a proposal for 1,000 homes, where the previous suggestion was 800,” he said. “I wonder if they are asking for more so when they cut back they seem reasonable.
“But my main concern is the local infrastructure, especially the roads. This used to be a quiet road but recently we have seen a lot of large lorries thundering past.
“And the course is a flood plain. In the last two years the course ditches have overflowed onto the roads.”