Doubts over future of bowling club

The pavilion was burned down in 2014
The pavilion was burned down in 2014

The future of a Peterhead sports facility was in thrown into doubt, despite a cash boost from Aberdeenshire Council being approved.

The 40-year-old pavilion on the grounds at Queen Street was burned down on Sunday, June 15 2014.

A disagreement over who was responsible for the land was raised after it emerged that there was not a valid lease on the land, resulting in no insurance claim successfully being made.

The local authority pledged to support the club in erecting a new pavilion, and a vote was cast on Thursday, February 2 which gave the club £40,000.

That and other monies raised through donations gave the club ‘around £55,000’, club joint-secretary John Noble told the Buchanie.

However, he added that they estimate a budget of ‘£150,000 - £200,000’ is needed to effectively replace the pavilion.

As it stands, the club are preparing to build ‘five model porta cabins’ that will be ‘put together into one single frame’.

However, the club has another hurdle to jump as Mr Noble said they have been told obtaining planning permission for this type of property will be problematic, as it will be classed as a temporary building by planning officers.

The grant was awarded to the club at an Education Learning and Leisure Committee meeting on Thursday, February 4.

The vote was narrowly won by 9-7, and had the condition that the council no longer hold any responsibilty of the upkeep of the grounds.

This responsibilty, which includes any repairs and maintenance such as cutting the grass, now falls to the bowling club.

Mr Noble said: “Because things are moving so slowly, it doesn’t look like we will be ready for this season.

“The £40,000 is only good if they allow us to build on the land.”

A Freedom of Information request found that the local authority of the time, Grampian Regional Council, transferred the lease to Victoria Bowling Club in 1995. However, they did continue responsibilty for the upkeep of the facility until now.

It is thought that this is when confusion over the insurance stems from, as land owners Feuar Managers claim to have seen documents of a composite lease for the area that, for unknown reasons, excluded the bowling green.

Planning applications are still being prepared.