Housing plan for bowling club site rejected

Plans for up to six homes on the site of Rhu Bowling Club have been rejected by councillors.

The bowling club is closed - but is still classed as protected open space.
The bowling club is closed – but is still classed as protected open space.

Landowners Luss Estates wanted to demolish the clubhouse and build a new access to the Manse Brae site, which is an Open Space Protection Area (OSPA).

But there were objections from Rhu and Shandon Community Council, as well as 18 residents.

The club’s site had been leased from Luss Estates, but the landowners said the longstanding use had ‘come to a natural end – it experienced falling numbers, ceased operating and was handed back last year

“There is no requirement for it to continue as a bowling club,” said a statement in support of the plan: “The clubhouse is also attracting vandalism.

“Given that the locality is primarily residential in nature this would seem to be an appropriate re-use of the site.”

But a report by planning officials at Wednesday’s meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s planning and protective services committee recommended refusal because it was classed as protected open space.

“Applications for planning permission in principle will not normally be considered appropriate in these areas,” said the report

“There is a presumption against the redevelopment of established playing fields or sports pitches.”

Councillors followed their officers’ recommendation and refused the plan.

An application for retrospective planning permission for a 1.8-metre fence at the controversial Cumberland Avenue site in Helensburgh, as reported here last week, was also rejected.