Luxury flats plans for Mansfield Bowling Club branded ‘criminal’ as planning is refused
- Credit: Archant
A controversial plan to redevelop a bowling club’s land was branded “criminal” and nothing but a money-spinner by councillors who voted unanimously to reject the scheme.
The proposal to build on the Mansfield Bowling Club site in Croftdown Road, Dartmouth Park, was denied planning permission by Camden Council’s development control committee on Thursday (July 4).
The club, a private company, wanted to build eight luxury homes along with a new leisure centre and an indoor bowling arena, which would have led to the loss of the historic outdoor bowling green and two clay tennis courts.
They claimed the luxury homes were necessary as an “enabling” development to raise money for the rest of the scheme.
The club’s directors insisted their primary aim was to benefit the community, but councillors were scathing about their motives.
You may also want to watch:
Cllr Sally Gimson, who represents Highgate ward, told the committee: “I think it’s disingenuous to say that the driver for this is anything else but money.
“This is a money-making scheme that will make millions and millions of pounds and I don’t see at all that it’s any kind of enabling scheme for the club.
- 1 'Silver lining of lockdown': Blockheads saxophonist brings Muswell Hill cheer
- 2 Nazanin may become 'bargaining chip' in Iran nuclear deal, warns husband
- 3 Camden's Levertons to arrange the funeral of Prince Philip on April 17
- 4 'It's a godsend': Hampstead pubs and shops back serving the community
- 5 Highgate reopens: Pubs and salons 'elated' to be back as lockdown eases
- 6 Child artworks breathe life into Hampstead Heath and Gospel Oak bridge
- 7 Wac Arts: West End stars among ex-students who can 'no longer endorse' charity
- 8 Lockdown easing April 12 live updates: North London shops and pubs reopen
- 9 Royal Free ITU nurse who swapped the Caribbean for a Covid ward
- 10 Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Wait for second verdict could last 'until Easter'
“Having this luxury development, you will lose all that open space, you will lose tennis courts and a bowling club, and that is space which has been in community use for 140 years. To lose that would be totally criminal.”
Kenlyn Lawn Tennis Club, in Croftdown Road, which was founded in 1919, would have also lost use of the two clay tennis courts placing its future in jeopardy.
Although the land is privately owned, it has been designated as an “asset of community value” by the council.
The decision was met with jubilation by many who have campaigned to protect the open space, including author Julian Barnes who backed the fight against the plans last November.
But Paul Barker, chairman of Mansfield Neighbours Group, which was set up in 2011 to fight the plans, acknowledged the battle may not be over.
He said: “It was a famous victory and democracy in action.
“It’s very important that pieces of open greenery in London should be protected and kept.
“They should be maintained and if they fall out of use, they should be given another use, but we should not build houses on them.”
In a statement issued on Friday (July 5), Mansfield Bowling Club’s director Adrian Pruss accused the town hall of getting “in the way of community benefit”.
He said: “The members of Mansfield Bowling Club and many of its immediate neighbours are obviously very disappointed at this decision.
“The financial situation of the club has not changed and we are now considering our position regarding the future of the site.”