A severe fire which destroyed most of the clubhouse of the former North Worcestershire Golf Club this afternoon (Thursday 18th September) is being treated as arson.
West Midlands Fire Service were called to the site, in Hanging Lane, Northfield, just before 3.45pm. Twenty firefighters and pumps from Northfield, Woodgate, Bournbrook and Highgate – as well as an aerial platform – tackled the blaze. Firefighters were damping down into the evening.
The roof of the club house has been totally destroyed, as has 30% of the first floor. A West Midlands Fire Service source confirmed that the fire is being treated as arson.
The club closed in 2016 due to financial difficulty and Bloor Homes recently had planning permission for a 950 home housing development rejected by Birmingham City Council.
Northfield MP Richard Burden (Labour) said: “I know that the security of the site has been a worry for residents, and also the golf club directors themselves. The directors have recently taken extra steps to try and keep the site secure – in addition to there already being a 1.8m high metal fence around the site, they have installed metal security sheeting to the club house windows.
“If this fire was started deliberately, it is a very serious incident and the golf club directors will have to review their security measures once again.”
Mr Burden also thanked West Midlands Fire Service, saying: “Thanks to the fire service who were in attendance very quickly and also had the fire under control really quickly.”
Cllr Ian Cruise (Independent, Longbridge): “I’m saddened to hear of the fire that has all but destroyed the club house at North Worcestershire Golf Course as the building as well as the course has been a part of the local area for over 100 years. I’d like to thank our emergency services for their swift response in tackling the blaze. Tonight I urge the directors of the golf club to do their upmost to secure the site while its future is decided and ask that anyone with information or who may have witnessed individuals gaining access to the site, contact the police ASAP.”
Cllr Andy Cartwright (Labour, Longbridge): “It’s such a shame for the local community.”
Anyone with any information which may help investigators is asked to call West Midlands Police on 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org