A PUBLIC debate should be held on the future of Newbold Comyn in Leamington.
That is the view of the Leamington Society in the wake of Warwick District Council’s decision to severe ties with management company Mack Golf after it withdrew from its contract to manage the 18-hole course at Newbold Comyn.
Society member Jef Tuyn said: “There is no question that Newbold Comyn is one of Leamington’s most valuable and treasured resources.
“Situated at the eastern end of the unique series of linked parks including Victoria Park, Pump Room Gardens and
Jephson Gardens, the Comyn is much used for both formal and informal recreation as well as serving as a valuable wildlife resource.
“The departure of Mack Golf raises financial implications for the Comyn’s future in that the golf course represents a considerable investment dependent upon income generation.
“The fact that Mack Golf have relinquished their tenancy despite a long lease indicates that golf might not be the commercial earner that it once was – at least at Newbold Comyn.
“What then are the implications of Mack Golf’s departure on the Comyn now that the course is no longer generating income? Does this leave Warwick District Council with a financial problem and if so, how might this impinge on the resource as a whole?
“The Leamington Society would like to facilitate a public debate to consider the implications of the current situation, identify problems and give consideration to the best way in which this valuable resource can be preserved for future generations.”
The council had considered taking legal action against Mack Golf, but as the authority had not been happy for some time with the firm’s management of the course, decided instead to end the contractual relationship – which it is understood was to have run until 2060.
Footpaths around the course remain open, but golfers are not permitted to use the fairways and greens.
Council leisure spokesman Michael Coker has said the future of the golf course remains up the air, but he was quick to quash rumours there were any plans to build houses on Newbold Comyn.
The council’s executive committee will consider the next steps for the golf course at its meeting on March 7.