Aberdeen community bowled over by approval for cafe plans

Bonnymuir Bowling Green
Bonnymuir Bowling Green

An Aberdeen community trust has spoken of its delight that plans to turn a former disused bowling green into a community centre and café have been approved.

The Bonnymuir Green Community Trust purchased the Bonnymuir Bowling Green last year for £120,000 with the aim of turning it into something that would benefit the area.

Planned facilities include vegetable, fruit and herb gardens, apiary, child play area and sun terrace, community learning areas, rooms for use by local clubs and a café for both retail and training purposes.

The proposals were approved conditionally last week, with an extractor ventilation fan to be installed so that hot food can be prepared, and a noise assessment carried out for the fan.

Bonnymuir Green Community Trust co-chairman John Wigglesworth said: “This is great news, we can now continue to develop the garden and clubhouse building for use by the community.

“After more than three years of no access for the community, it’s brilliant that over 350 people have already visited and used the green over the past two months.

“Our focus is now on getting ready to plant in our new beds and polytunnel and to get the community café up and running.

“The green is open three days a week at the moment and anyone is welcome to come down, have a look and get involved.”

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A ballot was held with almost 1,000 residents, with 96% of the 984 who answered in favour of the development.

Within planning documents, Daniel Lewis, development manager at Aberdeen City Council, said: “The proposed use would be of benefit to the local community and is considered to be complementary to the predominantly residential use of the surrounding area.

“While the proposal involves the loss of a sports pitch, the proposed community garden and café does offer an alternative recreational amenity for the local community,” he said.

“The site is adequately accessible by sustainable means, and it is noted that it would be principally attracting trips from the surrounding communities.”