York planning Councillors decided yesterday to permit the development of the Acomb Bowling Club
The applicants claimed that there were no longer enough people interested in bowling in York to sustain the green.
Ironically the Planning sub committee then went on the insist that the developers pay the York RI bowling club £20,000 to expand their greens. Why such an expansion should be necessary when many bowling clubs already have spare membership places remains a mystery.
The RI site is a mile away from Front Street and lies in the Holgate ward,. The opportunity to invest the £20,000 from the S106 contribution in green space in the Westfield ward has been lost.
Planning Councillors should have insisted that the payment be retained and earmarked for the improvement of the old allotments site (behind the Library car park) which would at least have secured the future of some green space in the Front Street area.
Council officials have also claimed that no discussions about the expansion of the library (onto the Council owned land nearby) have taken place “since it was acquired in 2008”. Ten years ago officials in the council’s estates department were instructed to acquire the bowling green and the allotments site at the same time. They failed to do so and the bowling club limped on for a few more years.
The Bowling Club trustees have yet tor reveal what will happen to the substantial receipt they will receive from the sale of the green.
Westfield residents will now get the worst of all worlds. A sports facility is being lost. Another green space is being built on, an opportunity to provide a small “pocket” park has gone and the need for an expanded library – incorporating a “one stop shop” – seems further away than ever.
Another bad day for west York
In 2011 the Council had plans for a modest expansion of the Acomb Library on Front Street. Two new rooms would accommodate staff displaced for the Acomb Office.
A “one stop shop” for residents would have been established.
Affordable homes could have been provided on land lying between the bowling green and Chancery Court.
Labour dubbed this as a “second Council HQ”, abandoned the project in June 2011 and subsequently closed the Acomb Office without making alternative arrangements.
They said they would sell any land owned by the Council near the Library.