The next phase of the Tamworth Golf Course redevelopment project has been announced – and reassurance has been give to residents that parkland would be part of the project.
Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet said a major part of the project is investigating how the land could be developed – including carrying out a number of studies – and setting aside some of the land for parkland.
Cabinet stressed it wished to see open space as part of the development and would work with residents to indentify this, as part of Cabinet’s commitment to engage with them on the final outcome.
Councillor Steve Claymore, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “I would like to reassure residents that an appropriate amount of land will be set aside for or retained as parkland.
“To do this, we would exclude specific areas of the site from any future sale. This can be achieved by applying ‘conditions’ to the sale. Some of the money raised from the land’s sale would be reinvested back into creating a quality park including play areas, trails and landscaping. This will benefit both residents of Amington and the wider borough.”
Cabinet discussed the term ‘unconditional sale’ which means a purchaser cannot impose any conditions, but the council – as the landowners – can decide exactly what is for sale.
Cllr Claymore added: “At this stage it is not possible to make a decision on any of the details relating to parkland or where it would be.”
He added: “We will continue to have discussions with local residents, other organisations and interested parties, so that later in the summer we can look at the site design and layout. We will listen and incorporate views as far as we can without losing sight of the fact that this land is key to meeting future housing needs.”
Cllr Claymore confirmed the council was hoping to have outline planning permission in early 2015.
He stressed this would need to be followed up with more detailed plans at a later date; the submission of a planning application would not see any immediate development of the site. Following outline planning permission the council would look to sell the land to a developer.
Ecological and engineering studies are now underway. These will provide the council with information about what kind of development could take place on the land and if there are any constraints on the site.
Once these are completed, work will start on a potential design for the site. This will look at balancing the number of homes against education provision, transport and roads, open space and other infrastructure which may be needed. This is an integral and important part of the planning process.
Members of Cabinet and other councillors have met with Amington residents who have now formed a residents association to get involved in this process.
Currently the council plans to operate for the full 12 months but will need to review the income figures during the summer with a view to keeping the annual subsidy at no more than £142k.
To date, approximately 160 customers have indicated that they will sign up for annual green fees in 2014/15. The council expected a reduction from the 230 members last year and is hoping that the pay and play custom will be enough to cover the shortfall