Bowls club finds new home

HADLEIGH: A 250-year-old bowling club is today preparing to move to a new home after plans were approved to turn their historic site into a care home.

HADLEIGH: A 250-year-old bowling club is today preparing to move to a new home after plans were approved to turn their historic site into a care home.

Hadleigh Bowling Club will be moving to a purpose-built site a few miles up the road in Stone Street - marking an end to their tenure at their site in Magdalen Road.

The club, established in 1754, has been looking update their dilapidated facilities for ten years.

Big hopes of reviving the premises with a lottery grant fell through at the last minute.

But their saviour has come in the unlikely form of a property developer who was given permission in August to turn the site into a 51-bedroom care home in a site swap deal.

Club secretary Fred Creed, 74, said: “It is a fantastic deal for us and answers all our questions. It is a very, very good arrangement. Hopefully we will also be given some money in the bank to get us started.

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“The club has tried to make improvements, but a lottery grant fell through at the last hurdle.”

However, a small minority of the 90 playing and 35 non-playing members are not so keen about moving.

“There are a few members who are not happy,” said Mr Creed. “They are sad to be departing. That is the downside - we have been here for a long time, going back 254 years.”

The new site is expected to be up and running in 2011. There will also be parking for 53 cars and indoor bowling facilities, which the club didn't have before.

Work on the care home is planned to start in August or September next year once the club has relocated to its new home.

John Harding, director of Cameron Hamilton Homes, based in Long Melford, said: “We are looking forward to it. It is a really nice plan.”

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