Despairing residents in Mapperley are planning a protest against proposals to sell off their local bowling green to developers.
People living in Haywood Road are urging others to come out on Tuesday (10) and show their support as they continue their fight plans by Gedling Borough Council to sell the land to developers to help plug a funding gap.
Protesters will assemble on the green at 7pm and those planning to join the protest are being urged to wear green and bring lanterns and glowsticks. A mass photo is also planned.
The group then plan to lobby councilors attending a meeting at the nearby community centre about the proposals.
Residents have been given until October 12 to let Gedling Borough Council know their views on plans to sell off the green space.
But campaigners now want the council to delay their decision on the future of the bowling green.
A spokesman for the Save The Haywood Road Green said: “We think at the very least there should be a delay to the proposals there has not been a sufficient consultation period or sufficient opportunity to fundraise to enable the community to buy the space.”
This week Gedling Borough Council said in a statement they has been working with the community to explore all options available.
The Council said: “In recent years, the Council has faced the largest reductions in its funding from central government amounting to some £5.4 million, equivalent to a 62% cash reduction. Therefore Gedling Borough Council has had to make many changes, reducing some services and introducing new ways of working to generate income and reduce spending.
“Gedling Borough Council has been considering the future of the Haywood Road Community Centre and bowling green, working with local residents to explore different options.
“The original intention for the Haywood Road Community Centre and bowling green was to sell the whole site for housing. However, after listening to residents’ concerns and identifying that the closer would result in the loss of an excellent pre-school provision Gedling Borough Council therefore agreed to transfer management of Haywood Road Community Centre to a new community organisation and to provide the sum of £20,000 to support improvements to the center.
They added: “After listening to further concerns from residents regarding the loss of green space that the sale of the adjacent bowling green would result in, Gedling Borough Council has proposed to transfer approximately one third of it to the community centre for public use.
“Given Gedling Borough Council’s financial situation, retaining the whole of the bowling green is not a viable option it is proposed that the remaining will be sold for private housing.”
Leader of the Council, Cllr John Clarke said that a decade of funding cuts meant they now had to make tough decisions to help balance the books.
He said: “We’re approaching a decade of year on year funding cuts with £3.5 million more to find by 2020. This means exploring all kinds of options, many of which we’d prefer not to.
“I’m really encouraged at the great start the new organisation has made to improve the centre and I thank all those that have taken the time and trouble to respond to the consultation and offered to get involved.
“I’ve no doubt that some residents will be disappointed with any loss of the bowling green but I hope it is recognised that the Council has made a genuine effort to strike the right balance between preserving community services and at the same time balancing our books.”
The proposal for the Bowling Green will be considered by the Council’s Cabinet on October 12, and you can find more information through the Council’s website www.gedling.gov.uk from today (5).