Work on a new hotel at Bridlington Golf Club has started and officials have responded to criticism of the deal.
The club has confirmed it will pay East Riding of Yorkshire Council £725,000 for the freehold of the land, which was raised by selling 3.5 acres of land on the seafront for housing, in a joint £1.65m venture with the council.
Chairman Mike Smith said: “Disappointingly for Bridlington Golf Club, there has been some negative press relating to this recent purchase.
“In the opinion of some, the deal was not providing East Riding of Yorkshire Council nor the rate payer best value. The district valuer, however, has concluded that what has been agreed is ‘fair, reasonable and best value’ and its external auditor “was also satisfied that ERYC was obtaining best value for the land.”
“A local councillor stated ‘how come 30 years ago we were offered £7m to £8m for the golf course yet we are selling it off for less than £1m?’.
“This statement relates to 30 years ago when the council at the time, Humberside County Council, was intending to sell the whole 117-acre golf course site for residential development and not just the 3.5 acres.
“The aim back then was to relocate Bridlington Golf Club to the newly constructed Bridlington Links Golf Club site.”
Mr Smith said last week’s deal was ‘a momentous time in the history of Bridlington Golf Club’ and insisted it is ‘an important asset’ for the town and its tourism economy.
Days after the contracts were exchanged, diggers moved on site to start preliminary work on the hotel, which will have 19 en-suite bedrooms and indoor golf facilities.
“The proposed hotel at the golf club will create a much-needed additional income stream which would also attract more visiting golfers to Bridlington,” he added.
“The golf club will need to borrow necessary funds to build the hotel as the golf club has not been gifted the hotel as “part of the deal” as has been alleged.
“Although ERYC may have relinquished its annual rental from Bridlington Golf Club, this will soon be recouped by the proposed, up to 22, residential dwellings that are to be constructed,
ERYC will be in receipt of both domestic rates received from the private dwellings and business rates from the new hotel.”
Mr Smith also confirmed assets will be ‘evenly distributed to other registered Community Amateur Sports Club in the town or revert back to ERYC’ if the golf club ceases trading.
“As a consequence, no member of Bridlington Golf Club will benefit financially,” he added.