Hundreds of objections to controversial Glasgow bowling club plans

A divisive new plan to build homes at a Southside bowling club has received 285 objections from the community.

Residents in Mount Florida are urging the council to reject NOAH Developments’ latest proposal which would see 32 flats and a community hub in the current pavilion.

However, the number of objections has dropped from over 600 when a previous plan, which included 40 homes, was submitted – and 131 letters of support have been sent to the council.

NOAH’s latest scheme follows the original proposal which was rejected in 2020 and then refused on appeal to the Scottish Government. Since that application, the developers have bought the Carmunnock Road land from the bowling club.

The plans for the Mount Florida bowling club.

The firm has said the new application will include landscaped open space and the proposed community facilities could be gifted at no cost to a local group.

However, Mount Florida Community Trust promised to object to the plans as it hopes to retain the whole space for future generations. The trust, which does not own the land, previously had a proposal to retain the clubhouse, and the southern bowling green and install a tennis court and fitness area, approved by the council.

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In a submission to the council, Cllr Stephen Docherty, Labour, said he is supportive of “the retention of green open space in Mount Florida, this is something which is lacking in the area”.

“The southside of Glasgow has had many housing developments over the last ten years, all over-developed with not adequate greenspace,” he said. “This trend needs to be stopped and reversed. The environment we live in needs trees, shrubs/hedging, grass for our health and wellbeing and to mitigate climate change.”

Cllr Holly Bruce, Greens, said: “If the application is granted, the developer will profit enormously from one of the only green facilities in Mount Florida, without any benefit to the local community, to whom it should be fully available for use.”

Many of the letters of the support follow the same format, which stated: “This application is much improved on Noah Development’s previous one – better looking apartment buildings which fit in with the surroundings, the clubhouse to be upgraded for varied activities and a generous landscaped open space for lots of community uses.”

Allan Munro, a former community trust director, who opposed the initial plan, has submitted a letter of support for the new application. “This is a major change to the original position,” he said. “I objected the first time but, after consideration, have now changed as the residents and children still do not have access to this land.

“I was involved in the original objection but we have to move on in order to obtain access. Leaving the site to become more and more derelict for an unlimited period if planning is halted again actually does not help the community at all.”

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However, the community trust’s submission stated the applicant has not demonstrated the need or demand for housing on the site, raised concerns over the loss of open space and argued the developer’s open space proposals are “deficient”.

It added the plans have “not been informed by meaningful consultation” and a current petition opposing development has been signed by over 600 residents. More than 1,000 people signed a 2019 petition in support of retaining the land as a community facility.

Mount Florida Community Council is also against the application, with its main objection “to the loss of over 50% of the current open space”. Its submission stated “an attempt by the developer to class the clubhouse as open space is spurious and derisory”.

It added NOAH’s offer of open space and the clubhouse to the community trust “would have relieved the developer of their obligation to provide and maintain the open space for the community in perpetuity and was declined”.

NOAH has previously said the former pavilion could be used for a number of activities, including parents and toddlers’ groups, games nights, fitness classes and craft groups. The company said the building would be set “in extensive community open space” which could be used for sport, relaxation, gardens and play areas.

The bowling club was closed in October 2019 due to “falling club membership and dwindling participation” and NOAH took over the site in February this year.

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The last date for comments on the application was August 8. Glasgow’s planning committee will decide whether to approve the plans at a future meeting.