VIDEO: Hopes fade for bowling alley at former BAE site in Waterlooville

Weather-related safety fears close Gunwharf Narnia attraction

  • Bowlers hoped BAE site would be snapped up for leisure facilities
  • But only a discount supermarket and a fastfood chain have shown interest
  • Permission has now been given for a site originaly wanted for leisure, to be a retailer
0
Have your say

TEN-PIN bowlers say they feel let down after a council failed to force a developer to build leisure facilities.

The Havant Youth Bowling Club lost its bowling alley – AMF in Bedhampton – two years-ago when the site was sold for housing.

Disappointed members of Havant Youth Bowling Club after meeting at Havant Borough Council

Disappointed members of Havant Youth Bowling Club after meeting at Havant Borough Council

Since then it has been campaigning for a bowling alley on the former BAE site, off Hambledon Road, in Waterlooville.

When the large site became available three years ago the original developer promoted it as the perfect location for a cinema and bowing alley and hopes were pinned on the club relocating there,

But last night Havant Borough Council’s planning committee agreed that a large part of the site, which was originally anticipated for leisure use, can now be developed by developer Hargreaves for either leisure or retail purposes. Now the club fears Hargreaves will market it to retailers –despite councillors urging it to look at both options.

Speaking after the meeting, bowler Nigel Montgomery, whose children belong to the club, said: ‘They have been given permission for a non-food retailer and they are going to use it. We feel let down.’

What about all the young people in Waterlooville, Denmead, Horndean and Wecock who need somehwere to go now

Sandy Montgomery

His wife Sandy, who is the club secretary, said: ‘They say the reason they’ve gone for both options is that there isn’t the market for leisure facilities yet but in the future, when more houses have been built on the West of Waterlooville development, there might be.

‘What about all the young people in Waterlooville, Denmead, Horndean and Wecock who need somewhere to go now?

‘I’ve lived in Waterlooville most of my life and there was nothing for me to do at 15 and there’s nothing now.

‘We feel the council should have made a stand and not allowed the developer the option of putting a retailer there. We now have to play at Gunwharf, which is expensive and we have to share it with another club and it’s difficult for our disabled bowlers.’

Permission has already been granted for a Lidl and a McDonald’s drive-through in a different part of the site.