07:04PM, Wednesday 01 September 2021
After weeks of re-negotiation, Maidenhead Golf Club (MGC) looks set to meet next week to vote on a revised offer from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for the Harvest Hill site.
A letter seen by the Advertiser confirmed that the golf club had received a fresh offer of £15.95million to relinquish the lease for the land.
This also includes a new surrender date of December 2025, providing the club with an additional two-and-a-half years to relocate to a new site.
The council plans for more than 2,000 homes on the golf course as part of the Borough Local Plan (BLP), and initially reached an agreement for the early surrender of the golf club’s lease back in 2016.
However, after a longstop date of December 31, 2018 passed, both RBWM and MGC could rescind the original agreement.
MGC had been set to vote on this at an EGM set for Thursday August 26, which has since been postponed to September 9 following further negotiations.
Members will now vote on two resolutions; the first will be a vote on the acceptance of the revised £15.95million offer.
If that does not pass, or if the original conditions which were removed in a separate, unconditional £15.95million offer from 2019 are not contained in the revised deal, then members will vote on whether to rescind the original agreement and remain at the golf course site.
The urgency of the vote is due to the BLP’s expected approval prior to the end of this year, with the golf club unable to rescind the agreement after adoption of the plan.
Leader of the council Andrew Johnson had previously said that the council were prepared to use compulsory purchase orders to secure the site, which is the most controversial aspect of the Borough Local Plan.
A petition to convert the course into a ‘Maidenhead Great Park’ fetched 4448 signatures and was debated, and subsequently rejected, at full council in March.
Supporters of the petition have published an open letter to residents, citing their desire for the golf club to reject the revised offer at next Thursday’s EGM.
“You don’t build on greenbelt in a climate emergency [yet] the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, led by the current Conservative administration, now wants to build over this greenbelt land with 2,000 new houses and flats,” a statement read.
“We very much hope Maidenhead Golf Club votes to stay and continue to protect this vital area of greenspace for the benefit of all the residents of Maidenhead.”
Maidenhead Golf Club declined to comment at this stage.
Councillor David Coppinger, cabinet member for planning, said: “While we can’t comment on matters of commercial confidentiality, we’re working positively with the board and the club to bring the site forward for much-needed family homes, including affordable homes, along with community facilities and green public open space.”