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Last edited 27 Feb 2017
Protection of bowling greens
On 30th August 2011, in reference to the new National Planning Policy Framework, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles said:
“Bowling is one of the nation’s most popular pastimes and the bowling green has long been part of the fabric of our towns and villages. The new powers we are proposing can help to preserve this part of England’s sporting and cultural heritage for years to come.
“I know that bowlers, as well as other community groups, have been frustrated by a sense of powerlessness to stop treasured assets and amenities disappearing. The rights we are putting into law will make sure that local people no longer have to stand by as decisions are made beyond their control. They will be on a much surer footing when it comes getting heard and getting the time and ‘in’ they need to determine what happens in their area.”
During a debate at Westminster Hall on 30 April 2015, MP’s called for “an end to active bowling greens being designated as surplus to requirements by local planning authorities, thereby allowing the redevelopment of the greens — building over them — to go ahead". Following the debate, Nick Boles MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Planning) and Stephen Williams MP Minister for Communities wrote to all Local Authority Leaders reminding them of their powers to save bowling greens. Ref gov.uk 9 June 2014.
The Community Right to Bid was introduced under the Localism Act 2011, and allowed people to apply to their local authority to have land or buildings listed as Assets of Community Value. Once listed, it is possible for the community to delay sale by six months, giving time to raise money and produce a plan to buy the asset. The Community Right to Bid does not force the owner to sell their asset, it just enables the community to delay the sale and provides time for them to prepare a tender for purchase.
See Community right to bid for more information.
“...existing open spaces, sports and recreational buildings should not be built on unless an assessment has been undertaken, which has clearly shown them to be surplus to requirements, or that the loss resulting from the proposed development would be replaced by an equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality in a suitable location”.
The framework also allows for the designation of ‘Local Green Space’ which enables communities to identify green space of particular importance to them for special protection from development. New development is only be permitted within these areas in special circumstances.
 Further information
NB The Protection of Bowling Greens (Development Control) Bill 2010-12 was a Bill to require local planning authorities to ensure that certain criteria were met before planning permission involving the redevelopment of bowling greens could be granted. However, the Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session and so made no further progress.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Asset of community value.
- Community infrastructure levy.
- Community right to bid.
- Community right to build.
- Community rights.
- Local development order.
- Localism Act.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- Neighbourhood development order.
- Neighbourhood planning.
- Planning permission.
 External references
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