Ambitious plan to transform the town's sporting facilities

Words and graphic by Dave Barry

A new bowling green is to be built on Scarborough’s South Cliff, as part of a big project which will transform the town’s sporting provision.

It will be on part of a Scarborough College playing field, owned by Scarborough Council, at the corner of College Avenue and College Lane.

The private school is going to build six tennis courts next to the bowling green, alongside College Avenue, and turn Bramcote School’s old playing fields into an athletics track.

Two dozen houses and at least 20 flats are to be built on the site of the old sport centre, which includes its tennis courts and the adjacent bowling greens.

Scarborough Council is to sell the site to property developer Broadland Properties, which will create the athletics track and build the homes and tennis courts. The council will build the bowling green.

Broadland envisages “a low-density development of high-quality executive housing sensitive to the needs of the local conservation area”.

The council says: “The development will satisfy the need for modern luxury homes in the area, to encourage senior professionals connected to the potash, off-shore wind and other emerging industries to relocate to the borough of Scarborough.

“Developments of this kind are an important part of the council’s strategy to boost economic development on the Yorkshire coast”.

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The new bowling facilities will become South Cliff Bowls Club’s new home, not far from its old base.

“The new adjoining tennis courts will be constructed to national competition standard and will transform the provision of tennis facilities in the borough”, the council says.

The private school’s 400 metre, IAAF accredited “international competition standard” oval athletics track and its new tennis courts will be available for use by the local community and visiting groups. 

The site is bounded by Filey Road, Belvedere Road, Holbeck Hill and Holbeck Road.

Scarborough Athletic Club chairman Harry Forkin welcomed the planned investment in track and field facilities, “something which we’re confident the town will benefit hugely from”.

But he stressed: “To encourage greater participation in athletics and nurture the next generation of athletes, the facility will need to be accessible to children from all schools across the area and we hope this need will be taken into account as the exciting plans are progressed”.

Council leader Derek Bastiman said: “We have been in competitive dialogue about these hugely ambitious plans for many months, but due to the stringent procurement process we have been unable to go public until now. We have been fully aware of the local concerns for the future of [the] bowls club in recent weeks so we hope [our] announcement will eradicate those concerns and show we are committed to delivering excellent sporting facilities for local use”.

Cllr Bastiman said the new facilities, combined with the new sports centre in the Valley and the squash facilities being built at the rugby club, would make Scarborough “the best place in the UK, if not Europe, for sporting facilities, for the size of the town”.

Bowls club chairman Tony Campbell described the proposed bowling green as “a very acceptable alternative” and said “the long-term sustainability of the club can be assured”.

The developments will be subject to planning permission. The planning process will include consultation with the public, including local sport and community groups that have a particular interest in the South Cliff area.