SBC apology for bowling parking deal failure

Galashiels Bowling Club, wall separating properties.
Galashiels Bowling Club, wall separating properties.

A COUNCILLOR has apologised to Galashiels Bowling Club after the local authority failed to adhere to a parking agreement.

The Scott Crescent club hope to build an access door through a boundary wall with neighbouring Old Gala House, run by Scottish Borders Council.

However, the town’s community council opposed the planning bid, stating that bowling club members currently cause problems by parking in the grounds of the house, a popular site for weddings and exhibitions.

But October’s meeting of the community council heard that the bowling club are meant to have a gentleman’s agreement with SBC, allowing its members to use the space in front of the house when it is not in use, and being told in advance by the authority when a function is taking place.

A Galashiels Bowling Club representative told the meeting: “It was our closing day of the season last month, but there was a wedding on the same day. We never knew until we arrived.

“We want to fit in with Old Gala House. We don’t want to cause a problem.

“If the council fitted in with what we wanted it would be a lot easier.”

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, who previously met club officials to discuss the agreement, told the member: “The council side of the arrangement has not happened and I apologise for that.”

The bowling club representative also questioned the community council’s decision to oppose the access door planning application.

He said: “I understand the historical significance of the house, but the suggestion that we could build a door at our road-side gate would be more difficult to do.

“The new gate is needed because once a year at the end of the season we need to get in heavy equipment to work on the green. It would only be once a year.”

Rick Kenney, Galashiels CC’s planning representative, said the majority of members told him they were against the bowling club proposal.

He added: “There have been nights when there have been meetings at Old Gala House and we couldn’t get into the car park with a bowling match on.”

A decision on the access door is expected at the start of November.