Two bowling clubs are hoping to replace their outdated clubhouse with a new building for their 200-plus members.
Bexhill and Polegrove Bowling Clubs have submitted a joint application to replace the Polegrove Pavilion with a new timber-framed clubhouse.
A design and access statement, submitted to Rother District Council, said the ‘growth and success’ of both clubs meant they had ‘grown beyond the confines’ of the current building.
“The improved facilities will enable them to continue to grow, providing a purpose-built space for their 200-plus members and visiting teams to The Polegrove,” said the statement.
It added modern materials would be used to ‘minimise the impact’ of the new building on the surrounding area.
Club members have already written in support of the plan, saying the current building is simply ‘no longer fit for purpose’.
“The condition of the existing building is extremely poor, the roof leaks, the structure is becoming unsound and each summer it requires a complete overhaul to make it usable again,” wrote Simon Dunkley of Polegrove Bowls Club.
“A new pavilion would enable us to invite touring teams to come as we would have new changing facilities.”
Denise Hodd has been a member of Polegrove Bowls Club for almost 30 years.
She said the junior section was the ‘envy of Sussex’ and the greens were ‘fantastic’ but there were no ‘decent facilities’.
“Most clubs have adequate changing and toilet facilities which we don’t have,” she wrote.
“The building has been in a state of disrepair for many years now.”
She said every year the clubs relied on volunteers to get the inside of the building good enough to host matches.
“Quite frankly its an embarrassment taking visiting players inside the clubhouse, its damp and when it rains we have big puddles of water due to the leaking roof,” she wrote.
However, some residents asked if the Art Deco building could be saved.
“Whilst I agree major work needs to be done to make the building ‘fit for purpose’ I do not think it should be demolished and lost to the town forever,” said Sue Daniels in a letter to the Observer.
“How many such clubhouses exist in this country?”
Her views were echoed by Elisa Davey in her comments on the planning application.
“I feel this is a great pity as the existing building is a good example of Art Deco modernist construction and adds to the visual amenity of the Polegrove,” she wrote.
Club committee member Paul Butler wrote it was a ‘shame’ to lose the current building but the outside did not reveal how poor it was internally.
He said, despite repeated attempts to fix it, the roof still leaked and the council did not have the funds to renovate the facility. “In order for both clubs to continue attracting touring teams to the town we desperately need a new modern facility,” he wrote.
For more information visit rother.gov.uk/planning and search for application number: RR/2016/424/P.
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