Hundreds fight to save Bedhampton bowling alley

The AMF bowling facility at Bedhampton.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (13171-6)
The AMF bowling facility at Bedhampton.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (13171-6)
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THE fight is on to stop a bowling alley being bulldozed to make way for a new housing development.

A petition has been started to save Bedhampton’s AMF Bowling, which is under threat of being demolished to make way for an 86-home estate.

And campaigners have been bowled over by the incredible response.

Within a few days, more than 400 people have put their name to the cause.

The alley in Havant Retail Park, Portsdown Hill Road, is used by local schools, bowling leagues and several disabled groups.

Sandie Montgomery, 50, of Sandyfield Crescent, Cowplain, who is secretary of Havant Youth Bowling Club, said: ‘At the end of the day if you take that away there’s nothing over the hill for children.

‘We are crying out for these sort of places.

‘I have 400 signatures so far and I was only out for a couple of hours.

‘Everybody is signing this petition.

‘They don’t want to lose it. They like bowling.

‘There’s about 250 bowlers that come in the evenings.’

Mrs Montgomery, whose 17-year-old daughter Jessica has represented England at tenpin bowling, said bowlers travel from as far as Bognor to go to AMF as it is one of the best around.

As reported, Linden Homes wants to build the homes on the site, which also has a Homebase.

Landlord Ankers & Rawlings has said it is assessing the future of the site as a retail park as trade has been lost to other centres.

Jenny Wride, councillor for Bedhampton, was concerned about the plans.

She said: ‘My main concern apart from losing a community facility is we have already got 92 dwellings at Scratchface Lane approved.

‘Should another 86 homes be built? It’s totally unsustainable.

‘We are eating away at open space and recreational opportunities for people to use.’

She was also concerned about traffic and air pollution, but developers have said they can mitigate against this.

No final decision has been made and Havant Borough Council has yet to receive a formal planning application.

Matt Graf, manager of AMF Bowling Bedhampton, said: ‘We are happy that people are supporting us.

‘We don’t want to be going anywhere.

‘We support the local community, including schools and disabled people.

‘It would be missed by them. As far as we aware we are continuing business as usual.’