Hon Secretary Geoff Matthews opened the meeting by welcoming Members and thanking them for
Mel Jones HS2 Committee Chairman & Club Director introduced the top table: Directors Neil Blackford,
Andrew Brown and Keith Jones, Manager Sarah Sharp and HS2 Committee member Tim Furnell.
Tim presented to the Forum an update on where the Club is with HS2 and the Board’s strategy. He also noted
the Club’s grateful thanks to Bob Hunt from International Design Group and Gareth Morgan (Advisor) who
have provided us with their expertise free of charge.
A copy of the slides used in the Presentation is attached.
Mel explained how difficult it has been to meet with HS2 and we have to continually chase them for
agreement on issues. The Committee has received some criticism that there has been a lack of
communication, however Mel explained we have been mindful to keep members updated only when we can
present factual information and not promises made by HS2.
Hon Secretary informed Members of pending ground investigations work by Balfour Beatty by way of four
boreholes and two trial pits. This work is planned during March and there will be 18 holes in play albeit some
holes may be shortened.
Floor was opened for questions
Clarification was sought on the phase for Royal Assent expected end of 2019
This is for Phase 2a (West Midlands to Crewe) – our phase.
On 23 February 2017 Royal Assent was granted for Phase One of HS2 (London to West Midlands) –
Whittington Heath Golf Club’s phase.
What can Members do to support our Petition against AP2?
Geoff and Tim met last week with James Cantrill, Chief of Staff to Jeremy Lefroy MP, who advised we send
letters to the Prime Minister and other prominent MP’s connected to HS2. Rather than Members send
individual letters, it will be more effective if they come from the Club on behalf of the Members and Geoff
asked those present for their support on this initiative. This was agreed.
M Jones also added that James has advised we do not antagonise HS2 – we need to reach a favourable
Have we sought support from golfing bodies?
SUGC have written a letter of support however the R&A felt unable to assist.
Have we received any information from Whittington Heath Golf Club that might be of help?
We have had meetings with their Hs2 committee and they have been most obliging however they are bound
by a confidentiality agreement which prohibits them being able to share certain information.
Do we know the costs involved at Whittington Heath Golf Club?
No. At our appearance in front of the Select Committee in July, this information was requested by them.
HS2 have responded, however in the published document all figures are redacted. The Select Committee will
know and we believe this is helpful to our case as the work taking place at Whittington Heath is significant. In
their response, HS2 mention other golf clubs affected by Hs2, but other than Whittington Heath they are not
comparable as they’re not private members clubs.
The ‘sideways’ move proposed by HS2 is not viable and closure has been mooted as an option.
What does this mean?
HS2 believe the appropriate basis of compensation to the Club is for the value of the land acquired, injurious
affection/severance, disturbance, loss payments and fees in line with Rule 2 and 6 of the Compensation Code.
HS2 would prefer for us to close.
Does the AP2 mean HS2 can take our land?
Yes, if it is accepted. When they receive Royal Assent the Bill becomes an Act and they can compulsorily
purchase our land.
Should we take legal advice?
We have sought legal advice as and when necessary ie when we petitioned last year, however costs are
beyond our resources. Geoff appealed to any member within the Club who may have any relevant expertise
to get in touch.
Have we considered asking members to cover the difference in costs between the ‘sideways’ move and
No as we are talking millions of pounds!
How long will it take us to purchase our preferred land after Royal Assent?
We have a provisional agreement in place with landowners.
If time drags on with Hs2, might the landowners sell their land to someone else for development?
Tim (ex-chief planning officer for 30 years) firmly believes they would not receive permission to develop on
We have also been in dialogue with the Council and they support our plans for the new site.
There were no further questions
Hon Secretary asked those present to show their support for the Hs2 Committee and the Board of Directors
on the following:
WE BELIEVE THAT WE CONTINUE TO HAVE A STRONG CASE FOR PROPER COMPENSATION
TO ALLOW US TO MOVE AND THRIVE.
THE SELECT COMMITTEE REQUIRE HS2 TO FACILITATE OUR FUTURE. WE INTEND TO PUSH ON WITH THE
UPDATING AND VALIDATING OF THE COSTINGS, TOGETHER WITH BUSINESS VIABILITY WORK, TO ALLOW US
TO PRESS OUR CASE FOR A NEW COURSE – NOT WASTE PUBLIC MONEY ON A SIDEWAYS OPTION.
Derek Keatley proposed that Member’s support this strategy and a vote was taken. Following a show of
hands, with one abstention (member is related to landowners involved on both sites) the vote was carried.
Hon Secretary asked Members with any questions/comments to approach members of the Hs2 Committee
only and not members of staff. He also made a plea to Members for their continued support particularly
during these challenging times.
Mr Captain thanked the Committee for holding the Forum and for their passion and enthusiasm.
Meeting closed at 8.45 pm