People

Campaign to save greenspace at Corunna Bowling Club agrees to explore buy-out

By Ian Marland at

Around 70 people gathered in a church hall at the weekend in the first stage of a campaign to secure new community facilities for their area.

Residents of St Vincent Crescent and neighbouring addresses in Finnieston came to Sandyford Henderson Memorial Hall to set out their vision for Corunna Bowling Club.

As part of further action, it was agreed to investigate whether a community buyout is an option open to residents.

People attending over the two-hour meeting were asked what they would like to see developed at the bowling green, which sits within a Conservation Area.

Suggested ideas included a community centre of mixed use, a tennis club, an exercise park, a play park for children and a nursery.

Space: Residents are determined to secure a community use for the  site.

Space: Residents are determined to secure a community use for the site.

Lee Grant, convener of the local residents’ association, said the ideas would be taken forward by residents to see which option best suits the needs of the community.

Currently, the site is in line to be sold and developed into 40 two-bedroomed apartments.

A developer is understood to be progressing a deal to secure the site for a price tag believed to be around £1 million.

Lee told the meeting people had an opportunity to come up with an alternative for the site.

“This could be a fantastic community facility, but it is now for you to say what you would like to see there in placed of the bowling club.”

A number of residents said it was important to find a use that would benefit people young and old.

Local SNP MSP Sandra White pledged her support for residents in whatever they opted to see developed on the land.

“I will raise the issue in the Scottish Parliament and take your case to ministers if it helps secure a community use for the site,” she said.

Anderston/City ward councillor Angus Millar said he was encouraged by the meeting.

He said: “I think this is entirely the right approach for the community to be taking – putting forward alternative ideas [for the site].

“The more you come together as a community the better it will be for making a case for community use.”

Fellow ward councillor Eva Bolander agreed, saying the new Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act would help residents pursue community use.

Green ward councillor Dr Nina Baker explained how residents may want to use the power of right to buy provided by the Act.

Right to buy cannot be used to prevent a specific development but it may be the way to go if those plans don’t proceed, she told the meeting.

“It is a lot of work but I am sure there is enough expertise within this room to make it happen if you want it to,” she said.

Residents agreed to take all options forward at the earliest opportunity.

One of the tasks will be mapping out what social and recreational amenities already exist locally to provide a better idea of which plans to pursue for the bowling club site.

Corunna Bowling Club has been a key feature of the St Vincent Crescent conservation Area since 1850.

Falling membership is believed to be behind the club’s reason to sell up.

No one from the club has yet commented on the plans.