Tottenham Hotspur have been named as front-runners in a bid to win the lease for a former golf course from Enfield Council.

The football club wants to establish a women’s and girls’ football academy at Whitewebbs Golf Course in Clay Hill to develop the game at grassroots level.

If successful, Spurs – which already owns a training ground near the golf course – plans to create football pitches in the north of the green belt site, with the academy centred on the northern clubhouse.

It also plans to restore areas of historic parkland in the southern half of the site and turn the clubhouse there into improved café and toilet facilities.

Using the rental income from the 25-year lease, Enfield Council says it would invest an extra £100,000 a year into grassroots sport for young people across the borough.

Under the plans, Whitewebbs Wood would not be leased out and would continue to be managed by the council.

The football club’s proposals ranked highest against the council’s scoring criteria, which looked at each bidder’s relevant experience and ability to meet the authority’s key objectives.

Plans to keep golfing facilities at the site were among the lower-scoring bids, along with a proposal for educational facilities and rewilding.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said: “Our proposals will enhance public access, improve opportunities for recreational and community use and build on the fantastic work that has been delivered by our Foundation in Enfield over the past decade.”

The future of Whitewebbs Golf Course has been the focus of intense debate, with Tory leader Cllr Joanne Laban slamming a decision not to reopen it after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in March.

Enfield Council claimed the course had lost £1.1 million during the past five years and it would be “irresponsible” to continue to subsidise it using taxpayers’ money.

The Conservatives won a seat from Labour in the recent by-election in Chase ward after their candidate Andrew Thorp pledged to fight to save Whitewebbs Park and Golf Course for the community.

Council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan said: “Residents have consistently told us that any proposal for the future of Whitewebbs needs to ensure the public continue to have access to this beautiful area.

“We were clear from the start that any partner we select for this scheme must put the community at the heart of their vision, and I am pleased to see that the bid from Tottenham Hotspur does precisely that.

“I am also pleased that other bids that included soil importation have not scored highly and have therefore been ruled out.

“Any proposal will require planning consent and no lease will be entered into unless planning consent is granted following the statutory consultation.”

For more details on the football club’s plans, visit: