Future of Leamington’s Newbold Comyn set to be discussed next week

editorial image

Three options for the future of Newbold Comyn have been officially announced - and the return of golfing to the much-loved park is among the shortlisted ideas.

The options, first discussed earlier in the year, include a redesigned golf course but a par- three course rather than the original 18-hole one.

And the report - which will be discussed next week by Warwick District Council and go out to public consultation - also suggests the possibility of an area for ‘footgolf’ and ‘adventure golf’, as well as an ‘adventurous play area’ with high ropes, zip wires and climbing.

The masterplan also has room for a nature reserve and one of the options is to extend this instead of the activities mentioned above. Another alternative would be an extended area for outdoor activities which occupies Observation Hill.

After the closure of the 18-hole golf course at the end of 2017, Warwick District Council (WDC) asked the public what they wanted on the 120-hectare country park and its facilities.

This led to a huge response with thousands of responses, which the council said demonstrates how important the site is to the public.

The masterplan report, which will be discussed next week by WDC’s executive committee, was started in August last year by the Sport, Leisure and Culture Consultancy (SLC), which was commissioned by WDC to identify ‘viable and practical options’ for Newbold Comyn. This week, it published its suggestions.

The three options are:

OPTION ONE

Includes a redesigned golf offer of a new par-3 golf course, driving range, adventure golf, footgolf and the reinstatement of the former pitch and putt area. It also includes a new adventurous play area, a new outdoor activities area (high ropes, low ropes, zip wires, climbing etc.), an extension to the nature reserve, a new 3G artificial turf pitch, visitor centre/café and additional parking.

OPTION TWO

Excludes the par-3 golf course, driving range, footgolf and pitch and putt but includes a significantly larger extension to the nature reserve.

It also includes the other facilities shown in Option One but with changes to the location of some of these.

OPTION THREE

Also excludes the par-3 golf course, driving range, footgolf and pitch and putt but includes an extended area for outdoor activities which occupies Observation Hill. This therefore reduces slightly the extended area of nature reserve shown in Option Two. It also includes the other facilities shown in Option One but with changes to the location of some of these.

If the WDC executive approves the next steps, the consultation on the options will begin in September and then the findings will be presented to councillors in early November.

Based on the feedback, they will make a decision on which facilities should be included and put forward a ‘draft masterplan’.

This will then go before the council in January 2020 and, if approved, will go back to the public for a second round of consultation.

Officers and councillors will then review this feedback in March 2020 and consider whether changes should be made, before the final masterplan is put forward.