Gedling Borough Council have announced their final decision to go ahead with the sale of the majority of Haywood Road Green to a housing developer in order to raise some funds. Due to financial pressures councils across the country have been forced to look around to see where they can save money by cutting services and selling off assets they deem to be surplus to requirements.
One of the sites that Gedling Borough Council identified as an area which could be sold off to a housing developer was Onchan Park and the bowling green alongside. Onchan Park bowling green had not been used for 5 years and as the bowling club had disbanded.
The residents around Onchan Park were understandably upset about the idea of a developer cramming as many houses as possible on their green space and so they set up a community campaign group to try and stop the sale. As usually happens in these cases the local councillors stepped in to help, in this case Councillor Michael Payne.
Another site identified for development was Haywood Road Community Centre and Bowling Green. Here Gedling Borough Council wanted to sell the whole site, there were, however some important differences between the two sites.
Onchan Park Bowling Green had been abandoned for 5 years, Haywood Road Bowling Green was still being actively used by Porchester Bowls Club, who fought for 2 years before Gedling Borough Council managed to force them to move.
Michael Payne stepped in to help save Onchan Bowling Green and it was his intervention along with the community campaign that saved the site, as he’s the deputy leader of Gedling Borough Council. None of the Labour Councillors for Porchester have stepped in to support the huge community campaign for Haywood Road Green, in fact only Mike Adams, the Conservative councillor for Woodthorpe has given his full support.
There has been massive pressure from local residents to save this green space which means a huge amount to everybody in the area, however to the Labour run council making some quick cash is clearly more important than looking after the people who voted them in.
They have been determined to make some money out of the last piece of public green space in Porchester Gardens right from the start, it is only because of the massive pressure from local residents that they didn’t bulldoze a community centre with it, but the big question is why was Michael Payne so keen on saving Onchan Park bowling green and yet has been so intent on selling Haywood Road?