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A golf course near Lichfield set to be blighted by a high-speed rail line could attempt to get its clubhouse building listed in an attempt to get the route changed.
Mike Raj, Trevor Ashforth, Michael Fabricant and John Tipper outside Whittington Heath Golf Club's historic clubhouse
The latest proposed version of the HS2 route goes through Whittington Heath Golf Club and would see the historic building demolished. However, Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant believes listed building status could support the argument to have the line moved. The Conservative MP met members of the club’s committee to discuss the impact of HS2 on the course. He said:
“If HS2 does go ahead, it will affect the club badly unless some changes to the route are made.  The club was founded in 1886 and the clubhouse is of historic importance.  It was the site of Lichfield Racecourse and you can still see the 19th Century Grandstand. “After a tour of the golf course and the clubhouse, I met with the club’s committee and made a number of suggestions. Firstly, I said that they should investigate whether the clubhouse should be listed as a building of architectural importance.  This could help the argument that the line should be moved slightly westwards away from the clubhouse which would otherwise be demolished. “Secondly, I offered help – as I will for all my constituents – to maximise the compensation the club would receive from HS2.  And finally, I said that I would help the club acquire land from the Ministry of Defence adjoining the golf course which would enable this historic club to continue. “But I also said that while it is vital for the club to plan ahead, an alternative solution may be found to constructing HS2.  The project is still a long way ahead.”

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

6 replies on “Listed building status could save golf clubhouse near Lichfield from HS2”

  1. Lets divert a massive infrastructure project BECAUSE OF A GOLF COURSE! Is that meant to be funny? If we want a true example of something that is damaging and wasteful while ony of benefit to the rich, forget HS2 – its the stupid golf courses that litter the countryside.

  2. The fact that Michael Fabricant is between a rock (his constituents) and a hard place (his party whips) means he cant just jump on which ever band wagon will bring him the most votes and he is actually having to do something most politicians dread to do, Think !

    To be honest what he says here is very reasonable. The revised route for the HS2 is much better than the original route, (although the original was so bad, going through Britannia industrial estate you have to wonder if they made it bad on purpose) the main problem remaining near Lichfield is the golf course. As Whittington Barracks is being converted to a Medical Facility you would think there would be some scope for them to sell some more land to the golf course ?  After all Whittington Heath was originally land used for Military Training Manoeuvres before the golf course was created.

    As he says if the route could be moved 20 metres or so further north-west the golf house could be saved and there is land futher east the golf course could use. They already seem to use some of the field to the south of sandy lane. As the name says the soil here is extremely sandy I cant imagine its prime farm land also the MOD has a large number of sports pitches and although these would obviously be useful for on a Medical Facility I’ve never seen them all in use at once.

  3. I don’t play golf but many people do. You could argue that the land would be better growing turnips but golf as an activity generates enjoyment as well as some employment, and makes someone some cash along the way – it certainly is not asking for massive public subsidies. HS2 on the other hand is a very bad neighbour, and more importantly is a scheme that will be enjoyed by a few, paid for by the many – if a golf course had a business plan as woeful as HS2 they would be laughed out of the bank!

  4. For anyone who has not seen it, I think that Whittington Heath Golf Club have a very pragmatic web-page setting out the problems and possible impact of HS2 on the long term future of their course.

    http://www.whittingtonheathgc.co.uk/Content.aspx?Menuid=73

    “The HS2 Committee thinks that it is the course that is our major asset and that the Clubhouse, for all its quirkiness and some talk of possible listing, is expendable.”

    For anyone who owns a listed building, they will be well aware of the problems,constraints and costs imposed on the owners by outside bodies.
    In my opinion it is right that the golf club members consider the possibility of a modern, energy efficient, brand new, re-located club house built at the expense of HS2 Ltd; particularly as the existing building has been considerably extended externally and altered internally with many of the original period features removed over the years.

  5. Just demolish the building and build HS2. They will get well paid for the building, any building in the way of the route should be demolished. I live on the proposed route and my house may be demolished too.

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