A golf club at the centre of the planned development of popular playing fields says it has reached an impasse with the council.
Brentwood Borough Council wants to invest more than £7million in a major revamp of King George’s Playing Fields in Warley – including a new pavilion building, splash pad and a new outdoor adventure play area.
However, Hartswood Golf Club, which has exclusive use of a clubhouse due to be demolished as part of the plans, says no efforts have been made to mitigate the loss of that facility, which still has 12 years to run on a 60-year lease.
According to the golf club the council is not able to demolish the existing structure until there is agreement – which has not been reached in the two and half years since the golf club was informed of the plans.
Victor Lowman, a trustee at the club said: “They are dragging their feet.
“I would say they are not unhappy to be marking time because they are taking a lot of money off the golf course – I have never seen the place so busy.
“But we are still negotiating with them for letting us have something that is in line with what we have at the moment.
“What they are offering is just a space which is half of that or less.”
The club, which has about 80 members, has exclusive use of a large club room, bar and kitchen, including separate lockers and showers for men and women.
The latest plans provide four changing rooms for footballers and golfers and a club room that is a third of the size of what the club has at the moment – but which is separated from a larger area with a sliding partition door.
Mr Lowman added: “We can’t stop them building the new building but part of the plans is the pavilion comes down first and then equally our lease gives us the protection that we can stop them pulling it down.
“And they are not prepared to honour the lease. It has been going on for two and half years.
“Where we are going I don’t know but we have appointed a firm of solicitors and now it’s in the hands of lawyers.
“We have reached an impasse at the moment.”
Brentwood Borough Council was contacted for comment.