Empty council land in Glasgow’s West End could be sold to bowling and tennis club

Empty council land in Glasgow’s West End could be sold to a bowling and tennis club which is working with a housing developer on plans for 16 flats.

The trustees at Kelvindale Bowling and Lawn Tennis Club have requested permission, alongside Abercromby Homes Ltd, to build properties for private sale on tennis courts at Baronald Drive.

Under the proposal, two new tennis courts would be created and improvements to the clubhouse carried out.

Following an approach from the club, council officials have suggested selling land which was part of a grass verge along the access road to a former council roads depot.

The land, just over 500 square meters to the north of Kelvindale Road, was “created as an amenity strip when the Kelvindale Court development was built on the site of the former depot around 15 years ago”, officials have reported.

Councillors will be asked to approve the principle of the sale on Thursday so terms of the deal can be agreed. Plans for the flats were submitted in December last year and have yet to be decided on by the council.

The club’s trustees told the council that the housing development was required as the facility is in “very real danger” of closure as declining membership and the need for major roof repairs mean it is facing financial losses.

They said money from the sale of land to Abercromby would cover repairs to the leaking roof and help to redevelop the sports facilities. The current tennis courts are red blaes and “severely dated”, the application added.

“The sale would enable the development of one new complete tennis court and one multi-purpose playing facility to allow for junior tennis facilities.”

It continued: “The club is not doing this to generate a profit but to continue a well-used community facility which has been financially drained over many years due to the declining membership and increasing costs of repairs and maintenance.”

The club wants the council land, which is vacant and provides no income, to “enable the residential development and consequently provide investment to the remaining club facilities”, council officials said.

Since the planning application was submitted, there have been 22 objections and 39 letters of support sent to the council.

Many of the letters of support are from members who welcome the investment in facilities and praise the impact of the club on the community, including social events.

Objectors have concerns over the lack of community involvement in the development of the plans, the impact on parking and traffic in the area and on access for emergency vehicles.

They also believe the flats will not be in character with surrounding buildings and fear the scheme would exacerbate ongoing drainage issues.

Glasgow Life, which runs culture and leisure venues for the council, doesn’t have concerns over the proposal but has asked for tennis courts to be built to Tennis Scotland requirements and “within a timeframe that ensures that community capacity is replaced as soon as possible “.

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