Reprieve for Gunnersbury Park Bowls Club

Planners say proposal to remove it gives no satisfactory justification

Gunnersbury Park Bowling Club
Gunnersbury Park Bowling Club. Picture: Visit Gunnersbury

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Gunnersbury Park Bowling Club 'To Be Kicked Out'

Friends of Gunnersbury Park and Museum

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April 21, 2020

A plan by Putt in the Park to convert the bowling green in Gunnersbury Park to a mini golf course has been refused by Hounslow Council’s planning department.

The reason for the refusal of the application was that no justification was submitted for the loss of the bowling pavilion and club. However, it was noted that if satisfactory evidence was received ‘for loss of vacant bowling club’, the application may be approved.

The bowls club has occupied the site since 1931. It was due to reopen to members this month but has been unable to do so due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Club members say they were given verbal assurances by the Gunnersbury Park Community Interest Company (CIC) that their presence in the park was valued. However, towards the end of last year the CIC stated that given ‘the relatively small and declining numbers who have exclusive use of the facility’ they were exploring new uses for the green.

Putt in the Park operates similar facilities in Acton and Putney applied for a change of use which would have allowed them to open a café on the site as well as to undertake alterations to the existing building and install four 5 metre high floodlights.

Their application argued that the proposal is ‘in keeping with the original Bowls Pavilion aesthetics’ and should be regarded having a `de minimis` impact on nearby Gunnersbury Park House given the scale of the sports hub development currently taking place.

Some members of the club believe that construction delays at the sports hub project have led to financial pressures which have forced the CIC to agree to handing over the site. The CIC have not responded to our requests for comment on the issue.

The application is ref: P/2020/0632.

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