Redevelopment of former Tamworth golf course site FAQs

1. Why is the Council redeveloping the site for new homes?
The Council undertook a detailed and robust options appraisal in 2013 to review the future of the course and looked at a range of options to sustain golf. However, the review showed that the council could not afford to invest capital funds into the course or support the annual cost of subsidising it. It also showed that the private sector could not offer an affordable solution. Given that the town is short of land for new homes, it was decided to develop the land for housing and parkland.

2. Do we need these new homes?
Tamworth’s housing needs assessment looks at the number of new homes needed to meet the projected population growth and demographic change. This was carried out in 2012. Between 2006 to 2031 there is an overall need of 6,250 dwellings, or 250 per year.

Due to significant constraints on land within Tamworth such as flood risk, environmental designations, infrastructure constraints and national Green Belt policy, there are few areas suitable to bring forward new housing development.
These constraints mean that of the 6,250 homes needed within Tamworth, 2,000 will need to be built beyond the borough boundaries in neighbouring local authorities, this leaves 4,250 to be built in Tamworth. Every effort has been made to find suitable brown field sites in the town centre; approximately 400 new homes will be built on brown field sites. This falls significantly short, therefore the urban area of Tamworth needs to be extended to allow for new homes to be built, to meet the needs of communities.

3. How does the redevelopment of this site for housing benefit Tamworth?

  • More houses means more housing choice, with 20% of the homes being affordable housing for rent and shared ownership.
  • The capital raised from the sale of the site means more money to be spent on Tamworth.
  • A financial contribution from the developer to upgrade or support new leisure facilities.
  • It will create new jobs.
  • 2.4 miles of new cycle paths and pedestrian access will be created.
  • Creation of a new community woodland a seven-hectare extension to Hodge Lane Nature Reserve.
  • Building of a new primary school with associated fields and facilities.
  • High-quality homes, including around 200 affordable homes for rent and shared ownership.
  • A new commercial centre with potential for a doctor’s surgery, pharmacy, shop, pub and restaurant.
  • Increased expenditure in the local economy.

4. The outline planning application is for up to 1,100 houses – is that the maximum number or is there a chance that more may be built?
The Sale Document will limit the number of houses to 1,100 through the use of a Restrictive Covenant.

5. 1,100 houses seems a lot – what guarantees are there that they will not be crammed in?
The housing density will be between the acceptable housing densities stated in the draft Local Plan (30-40 houses per hectare). At the outline planning application stage, a design and access statement will accompany the submission which seeks to demonstrate how a development could be provided that respects the character of the area and will not have a detrimental affect on the amenity of nearby residents. If outline planning permission was granted, the developer would have to submit detailed proposals, which would set out how the estate would be laid out and provide details of what the dwellings would look like.

6. Was the land give to the Council by the Coal Board for leisure use?
The site was purchased by the Council and part of it was used to provide the existing housing, while the remainder of the colliery and some agricultural land was used to create the golf course. There is no restriction on how the land is used and some has previously been used to provide houses.

7. Will the houses be of a high standard, and how can this be guaranteed?
The housing mix is defined and ranges from large detached to one-bedroomed homes. Standards will be guaranteed by building regulations, planning conditions, NHBC warranties and market pressure. 

8. How many of the 1,100 homes will be ‘affordable housing’?
20%

9. What will any developer have to provide to be allowed to build on this site?
The infrastructure requirements for the site will be determined in accordance with adopted policy, and following consideration of information received from consultees and other interested parties. It is likely that there will be a contribution to highway improvements and sustainable travel alongside protection for ecology and contributions to ecology and leisure facilities.

10. How much control will TBC have over what is built on the site once it has been sold to a developer?
Control will be implemented through Tamworth Borough Council as owner of retained land, through the sale document and in its role as the Planning Authority through the Section 106 Planning Agreement and Reserved Matters applications.

11. What has happened to the oil pipeline which runs under the site – will that affect the development.
The area occupied by the oil pipeline will be sold as part of the housing area. How this area will be integrated into the detailed design of the site will be a matter of negotiation between the pipeline owners and the site developer.

12. The development of 1,100 houses will generate extra traffic – what steps are being taken to alleviate the problem?
Any necessary highway mitigation works will be specified by the Highway Authority and included in the Section 106 Agreement.

13. How much open space will be retained in the new development?
Approximately 25 hectares out of a site of 60 hectares (42%). This figure does not include small areas of open space to be retained within the housing development area of the open space or the open space to be provided as part of the primary school.

14. What is being done to protect the wildlife on the site?
An Ecological Mitigation Strategy is being provided as part of the outline planning application.

15. The people living near to the golf course currently have an open space on their doorsteps – what is being done to protect them from being overlooked, having homes built just outside their windows etc?
A wide woodland buffer zone has been provided between the existing and proposed housing. In parts, it is up to 50m wide.

16. The closure of the golf course meant a loss of a sporting facility in Tamworth – what is being done to replace it, in line with TBC commitment to helping residents be healthier?
Almost 4km of new cycleway will be provided on the site and the developer will be asked to contribute more than £1 million towards leisure facilities in the wider Tamworth area. The golf course was not free to access open space – it was only accessible to a small number of members of the golf course. Local people and visitors will have access to additional public open space via the proposed community woodland and nature reserve. The Council’s Sports Development team will be involved in the design of the cycle and pedestrian tracks and will actively promote their usage.

17. Will the money raised from the sale of the site be spent on providing new or upgraded leisure facilities?
The Council’s Cabinet agreed that the capital receipt (separate from the developer contribution via the planning process) could be used to support leisure and regeneration. It is likely that some of the capital will be used to support the redevelopment of Tamworth Assembly Rooms, but no decisions have yet been made. Contributions to leisure facilities will be guided by the Tamworth Leisure Strategy document and will consider the potential financial and social return on investment.

18. Tamworth Borough Council is submitting the application and Tamworth Borough Council will be deciding the application. How does this work?
The Planning Committee is a quasi-judicial committee which has to follow national rules and guidelines. There are rules set out within legislation to ensure that local authorities do not act irresponsibly. We will make the Secretary of State aware of the application when it is submitted due to its scale.