TEN-PIN bowlers handed over a 3,135-strong petition to Rother last Wednesday in support of keeping a bowling facility in the town.
The Monday Bowling League, supported by the Hastings and Bexhill Youth Bowling League and Autism Sussex took the petition to Rother District Council chief executive, Derek Stevens.
The petition requests that Rother District Council spend “as much of the £1 million” compensation monies “as necessary” for the loss of Ocean Bowling “on purchasing a suitable plot of land in Bexhill and to let it inexpensively to Ocean Bowling to construct and manage a new bowling facility”.
This follows a successful planning application by Marks and Spencer to build a store on the site of Ocean Bowling in Ravenside, subject to a Secton 106 planning agreement.
The petition has been accepted by Rother District Council. A presentation will be made by representatives of the Tenpin Bowling Community to the next full council meeting on Monday, December 17, followed by a debate by councillors.
Petition organiser Lindsey Lawrence said: “I am requesting councillors to ensure that a tenpin bowling centre of equivalent size and quality is provided in Bexhill at a rent affordable to tenpin bowling providers. Rother’s own core strategy requires a like for like replacement and I believe that councillors should respect their own rules.It was also implicit in the 1988 Planning Agreement that the rent level would be one that was affordable to a ten-pin bowling provider.”
Mr Stevens said: “We are always very happy to receive petitions and this document will be debated by council on December 17. As a reminder of our position, the council has already stated it is willing to help identify and possibly purchase a suitable plot of land on which to create a new bowling alley, but we would be looking for private firms, such as Ocean Bowling’s owners Laserace, to construct and run the alley
“The closure of the Ravenside bowling alley was ultimately a decision made by a private business and not the council, but councillors do understand the desire for more sports and leisure facilities in the town.”