Saturday, 21 October 2017

Bowls club could be turned into play area and gardens

A PLAYGROUND could be built at the former Peppard Bowls Club.

A PLAYGROUND could be built at the former Peppard Bowls Club.

This is one of the ideas suggested for what to do with the land at Peppard War Memorial Hall, off Gallowstree Road.

The hall trustees are also considering turning the old clubhouse into a tea room as they want to replace the income of £923 a year they received in rent from the club.

The bowls club disbanded last month after no one came forward to run it despite several appeals for volunteers.

Clive Mills, who chairs the trustees, asked for suggestions for what to do with the former green.



Speaking at a meeting of Peppard Parish Council, Councillor Valerie Ross said: “One person suggested developing a children’s community area.

“Another suggested considering some form of housing, for example, retirement homes.

“Another idea was to create a garden for older parishioners. They could sit in the lovely garden and have the clubhouse with a café or tea room. It would sell coffee and cake but nothing else, no dinners or lunches. It would bring in some income and get people in.”

Ian Heriot, a governor of Peppard Primary School, asked if the land could be sold and the money from the sale be given to the school but this was rejected.

Cllr Ross said: “The idea that was liked most was to turn it into a children’s playground. People want to use it for children’s parties.”

Mr Mills said he hoped the land, which is about 60sq m, could be used for a play area and a community garden as it was too big for only the former. He said: “We have been approached and are talking to the parish council about the possibility of a play area but it’s early days and we have got to find out the views of various people. Every trustee was in agreement that it would be an admirable use of part of the land.

“We have also got the club room, which was used by the bowls club as their area for coffee, tea and drinks.

“An idea was put forward that perhaps we could convert that into a small tea room so people could go there to grab a tea or coffee while their children and grandchildren play.

“That idea would revolve around volunteers so it would not be open seven days a week.”

Mr Mills said there were some “lovely” planters and flower beds around the grounds which he wanted to retain.

“I love the idea of a quiet area where perhaps elderly people of the parish could take a short walk or go and sit in the summer,” he said.

Councillor Tony Rancombe said it was a good location for a play area as there were more children on that side of the parish. Councillor Simon Crouch pointed out that there was parking at the memorial hall.

“If it were rented it would help to pay for maintenance,” he said.

Cllr Rancombe added: “If we could rent it for £900 a year, think how much that land would benefit the parish.”

Councillor Terry Ryan, who has been part of a project to build a playground in the village since 2012, said the bowls club would be an ideal ocation.

Planning permission has been granted for a £50,000 playground on Top Common, near the lay-by on the link road between the B481 and Colliers Lane, but Cllr Ryan said: “The site is not the best because it’s next to a main road but it was the only option available at the time.

“Once the bowls green came into the picture I held informal talks with the council and decided to pursue it and see what is feasible there. It’s an ideal location because it’s a central spot in the parish with considerable parking and it would be advantageous to the hall.”



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