A DEVELOPER is hoping its revised proposals for apartments at a former bowling club will this time secure planning approval.
An application to build 32 flats at Mount Florida Bowling Club in Carmunnock Road has been submitted to the city council by Noah Developments. The clubhouse would potentially be kept as a community asset and there would be public green space.
The revised proposals have reduced the overall building height, with the “perceived eaves line” of the building reduced by two storeys compared with the 2019 application. There would be generous one-bed and two-bed apartments as well as larger three-bed duplexes. There would be 32 car parking spaces.
In November 2020, Glasgow’s planning applications committee refused an application by Noah for 40 flats at the site. Councillors raised concerns over loss of community amenity and the design not being in keeping with the area.
Noah appealed but the refusal was upheld for several reasons including the overall design of the project being “visually inharmonious”, the loss of the clubhouse; and shortcomings in the community consultation process.
A design document included with the new proposal states: “Noah propose to develop the land into a series of private residential units with associated service spaces and landscaped community gardens, whilst retaining the clubhouse and offering it for use as a community asset.
“A key driver for the scheme is the retention of existing site features including the clubhouse and maximising the provision of open green space within the site, taking what was once inaccessible private land and offering it to the wider community as both an enhanced visual amenity and a truly accessible space for the public to use, enjoy and benefit from.
“A substantial area of publicly accessible open space will be provided by our development which, when coupled with the connectivity, community and sports facilities [in the area], will further increase and enrich the overall provision within the catchment.”
The document continues: “The upgrading of the existing clubhouse pavilion would allow this facility to remain and be re-introduced as a multi-purpose community asset with many possibilities on how this could be developed to meet the needs of the community.
“The surrounding community open space has the potential to accommodate a wide range of activities/amenities for all members of the community including planting beds, informal sports, play spaces, seating and picnic areas.
“It is proposed that, subject to planning permission being granted for community facilities and an enabling residential development, a financial contribution will be made available to a designated community group towards funding the cost of upgrading the existing clubhouse and the creation of a landscaped community space subject to the needs and wishes of the community.
“In addition, the control and management of the community hub and open space will be offered on a long-term lease at a peppercorn rent. The retained clubhouse and surrounding open space represent half the site.
“As part of the applicant’s ongoing community consultation and engagement process, the applicant is now also offering two alternative options which involve gifting outright ownership of the designated community space to a chosen community group.
“One option will see a fully landscaped open space together with the existing pavilion remodelled and upgraded, gifted at no cost to the community group.
“An alternative option will see a fully landscaped open space with the existing pavilion being removed, gifted at no cost to the community group, together with a financial donation of £150,000 to the group.
“If accepted, this would allow a chosen group to be involved at an early stage in discussions as to how the open space and pavilion (if retained) could be laid out and operate to best serve the community.”
Councillors previously approved a proposal by local campaigners who want to turn the site into a community sports and leisure facility.
The bowling club voted in 2019 to sell the land to Noah Developments because of falling membership numbers.
City council planners had stated that both applications could be given planning permission as they each complied with the relevant development policies but councillors voted against the residential one.
More than 600 objections were received over the apartments proposal but also 120 letters of support.
The community proposal had attracted around 160 letters of support and 64 objections. It includes an all-weather tennis court and play and fitness area on one of the greens. The other bowling green would be kept. There would also be gardens, including raised planters for growing food.
Planners had pointed out in their report: “Whether the applicant would be able to obtain ownership of the site or permission of the site owner to implement the works are not material planning considerations.”