Businessman Stuart Smith says he will complete the controversial purchase of Newsome Working Men’s Club over the next few days following a deal worth just shy of £250,000.

His involvement has caused massive tensions with local bowlers since he secured a two-year option on the former Newsome WMC site in 2015 which led to them being turfed out off their green which they had been using since 1905.

And when Mr Smith erected a steel fence preventing access to the green in November incensed bowlers responded by slicing through it using an angle grinder under the gaze of TV news cameras.

The fenced off bowling green at the former Newsome WMC

But given Mr Smith’s continued opposition to the bowlers using the green they have spent this season using the green belonging to nearby Primrose Hill Liberal Bowling Club.

And as these latest pictures show the once top-notch green is now looking desperately overgrown.

But Mr Smith says he has no intention of relenting on his decision to lock out the bowlers saying: “I think they are quite happy at Primrose Hill to my knowledge and I am looking forward to starting work on the partial demolition of the club, taking out the concert room and toilet block.”

Stuart Smith, owner of former Newsome WMC and the bowling green he is planning to remove
Stuart Smith, owner of former Newsome WMC and the bowling green he is planning to remove

He hopes to turn the former club into six apartments or a house of multiple occupancy but says he will need to be granted a licence to carry out the latter.

He says he has fresh plans which are due to be submitted to Kirklees Council shortly.

As for the bowling green he says: “I would like to see it become low cost housing for people who want to get into the housing market. It would be for seven houses.”

Asked about his pledge in April to back down in the row over the green following a ‘visitation’ from his late grandfather Frank he said he had been forced to back track.

Protest against loss of bowling green at former Newsome WMC - Bowling Club President David Quarmby and Secretary Jackie Sullivan and protestors.

He said he would have been happy to ‘gift’ the green and a new pavilion to the community if Kirklees Council had granted him permission for a pair of semis on the St John’s Road site but that plan was a non-starter.

WATCH Stewart speak about the Newsome Bowling Green dream he had below

Video thumbnail, Stewart Smith speaks about his dream
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Kirklees councillor Andrew Cooper who has supported the bowlers from the start of their struggle said he would be contacting Kirklees Council’s legal department to see what pressure could be applied to Mr Smith to get him to maintain the green which he says he has a legal duty to do so.

He said: “Stuart Smith has a responsibility to maintain it as a bowling green.

“I think he is probably breaking the terms of the covenant and undermining its status as a bowling green for his own ends. He is denying the bowlers access.

The rubbish piling up at the former Newsome WMC

“And the issue of the covenant becomes more important if and when he becomes the new owner.”

Jacqui Sullivan, secretary of Newsome Community Sports and Bowling Club, said: “There is no reason why bowlers should not be using the green.

“He can’t do anything with it. All it can be used for is bowling so his actions are just petty.”