Forum Topic

Gunnersbury Park Bowls Club - Petition

The Gunnersbury Park Community Interest Company has refused to grant access by the Bowls Club to the bowls green to carry out urgent maintenance work.Some readers may wish to sign this petition: request is that all councillors, whether members of the Planning Committee or not, should seek to use their good offices to persuade the CIC to allow the Bowls Club access to the bowls green.Gunnersbury Estate (2026) Community Interest Company (the CIC) is responsible for the management of Gunnersbury Park on behalf of the joint owners, the London Boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing.In April 2020 a planning application was refused for the conversion of the bowls clubhouse to a cafe/restaurant. In January 2021, a decision on a further, almost identical, planning application was deferred by Hounslow Planning Committee. This proposal would lead to the re-purposing of the bowls green as a mini-golf facility which would mean the end of bowls in Gunnersbury Park after 90 years.In deferring their decision, the Planning Committee wished to have more time to consider all of the relevant facts, including the consideration of alternative sites for the mini-golf facility.The Bowls Club and volunteers from the wider community have been refused access by the CIC to carry out urgent maintenance work. Without this work the bowls green will rapidly deteriorate to a condition beyond repair and this will mean that the Planning Committee will be faced with a situation where bowls is no longer a viable use for the site of the bowls green.The Bowls Club is not opposed to the establishment of a mini-golf facility in the Park. Indeed, it supports the principle of this important source of revenue for the CIC but not at the expense of the bowls green and the Bowls Club itself.

Jim Storrar ● 226d14 Comments

We have been told that members of the angling club were clearing out the pond yesterday. They were apparently out in boats and using all sorts of equipment. We are sure that the angling club's activities are being overseen by a qualified team of marine salvage experts, scuba divers, and lifeguards. Their activities are clearly much less dangerous than those of volunteers on the bowls green using garden trowels, rakes, and domestic lawnmowers.Our petition, which requested access to the bowls green, closed on 19 March. We are delighted, and very pleasantly surprised, to have received 619 signatories. Many thanks to all the signatories.We are sure that many of the signatories would wish to join the Bowls Club and to see it thrive in the future. However, it is just possible that some may have taken the opportunity to express a general dissatisfaction with the current governance arrangements for Gunnersbury Park.In view of the urgency of the situation, we have requested LB Hounslow to provide a speedy response to our petition. We will seek to ensure that all signatories are given a full account of the response.To reiterate, we are not opposed to the principle of hosting Putt in the Park, but not at the expense of the Bowls Club. A petition opposing a similar planning application on bowls greens at Clapham Common attracted 3,000 signatories. This application was refused by Wandsworth Planning Committee, with 0 votes for, 8 against, and 2 abstentions. Putt in the Park have lodged an appeal and the decision is awaited.

Jim Storrar ● 209d