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Petition to save Horsham District Indoor Bowls Club with 2,700 signatures presented to council

JPCT 090414 S14150655x Bowls club petition delivered to HDC. Jo Bullen, board member  of Horsham District Indoor Bowls Club holds petition with (behind) Steve Rodwell, Development manager for English Indoor Bowls Association Tony Hazell board member  of Horsham District Indoor Bowls Club, and John Coghlan, chairman of Horsham District Indoor Bowls Club -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140904-135206001

JPCT 090414 S14150655x Bowls club petition delivered to HDC. Jo Bullen, board member of Horsham District Indoor Bowls Club holds petition with (behind) Steve Rodwell, Development manager for English Indoor Bowls Association Tony Hazell board member of Horsham District Indoor Bowls Club, and John Coghlan, chairman of Horsham District Indoor Bowls Club -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140904-135206001

A petition to save Horsham District Indoor Bowls Club containing around 2,700 signatures was presented to the council on Wednesday.

Members of the club have been fighting to save their home since proposals were unveiled for the redevelopment of the Broadbridge Heath Quadrant by Horsham District Council in February.

While a new replacement for Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre could still include several bowls rinks, the club feels that it will not be an adequate substitute to its current eight-rink home, which will be bulldozed under current plans.

The bowls club has submitted a revised business case and have been in discussions about its future with HDC this week along with its governing body the English Indoor Bowls Association.

John Coghlan, chairman of Horsham District Indoor Bowls Club, said: “I think the amount of support is tremendous because it comes from bowlers around the county, a lot of people around Horsham, and members of the public that want to see the bowls club stay.

“When we have gone to other bowls clubs they could not wait to sign it. To them we are part of the fabric of bowls in the area.”

Steve Rodwell, development manager for the English Indoor Bowls Association, said the closure of the facility would have a significant impact on the elderly population in the area.

Last last month hundreds of bowlers marched on Horsham town centre waving banners and placards to show the depth of feeling for the retention of the club.

This followed HDC’s proposals for the quadrant, which include up to 200 apartments, new retail stores, and restaurants, and a hotel.

Jonathan Chowen (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead), HDC’s cabinet member for arts, heritage, and leisure, has said in recent weeks that proposals are still at an early stage and the council would be examining the bowls club’s business case.

 

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