Kids may 'misbehave' if bowling green is next to skate park: Clash over £50m Knottingley masterplan

Local politicians have crossed swords over whether or not a bowling green is a worthy investment in Knottingley.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 3:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 3:02 pm
The council announced a 50m fund to regenerate Knottingley last year.

Wakefield Council is planning to build the facility next to a skate park in the town, as part of a £50m cash boost for the whole area.

The Labour-run authority says it wants to create jobs, build more leisure facilities and new homes as part of the masterplan it laid out for Knottingley last year.

But the town's Liberal Democrat councillor, Tom Gordon, has criticised the scheme's approach, claiming local people aren't being listened to and citing concerns that the proposed bowling green may be a magnet for vandalism.

The council wants to improve leisure facilities in the town, but parts of the plan have drawn criticism.

Labour has strongly rejected those charges.

Speaking at a full council meeting on Wednesday, Coun Gordon, who was elected last year, said: "I know I'd like to think that the kids won't misbehave, but if you put a bowling green next to a skate park there's going to be trouble.

On proposed housebuilding, Coun Gordon added: "Building more houses is the bulk of this regeneration but the appetite locally just isn't there.

"I hate to be one of those NIMBY, not-in-my-back-yard types, but there's a complete and utter lack of capacity for them off the road in Knottingley.

"Of course the landowners and developers will be positive about this, because they'll be making a profit from this, but it's the people on the ground who aren't enthusiastic.

"It just doesn't seem to be cutting through any positives."

Council leader Denise Jeffery responded: "When we started out, we spoke to people at Kellingley Social Club for a whole day about what they wanted, and one thing they mentioned was a bowling green.

"They'd wanted one for years.

"I think you should be listening to what people want, rather than just criticising it."

Local Democracy Reporting Service