Concerns raised about sale of historic bowling club for possible housing development


Concerns have been raised about the sale of a historic bowling club situated just yards from a former haunt of the Beatles in West Derby.

The home of West Derby Bowling Club on Haymans Green – including a large Victorian property used as a clubhouse – car park, bowling green, pavilion, garage, ancillary building and grounds, have been listed for sale for £1.1m.

The land and buildings are described as a “potential new development or redevelopment opportunity situated in an established, high-quality residential neighbourhood” by chartered surveyors Legat Owen.

Now, the West Derby Society has spoken out against the potential sale, questioning the viability of new developments in the area. The bowling club is a stone’s throw away from the former Casbah Coffee Club on Haymans Green, where it is said the Beatles really began.

The club was established by the mother of Beatles drummer, Pete Best, and was hailed by Sir Paul McCartney as where the icons got their start in music. In 2006 the site was given grade II listed status.

Stephen Guy, chairman of the West Derby Society, took to social media to express fears about losing the historic bowling club along Haymans Green. Posting on Facebook, he said, “This must not happen. Potential buyers need to understand that any development must either improve or enhance the conservation area.”

Mr Guy said the club site was in an “atmospheric corner of historic West Derby – it would be a travesty to lose it” and expressed fears it could “join the many lost dreams of wealthy developers who sit on their properties as the weeds grow higher.” He added: “As the property is in danger of demolition, the Society is applying for listed status to at least protect the historic house.”

The chairman also said the sale should also take into consideration the thoughts of music lovers. He said, “Do pop fans who make the long pilgrimage to Haymans Green really want a modern housing estate blighting their visitor experience?”

According to the listing on Legat Owen’s website, the clubhouse is set over two floors and comprises a bar, lounge room, snooker room, WCs and ancillary space to the ground floor. To the first floor are two flatted units with the whole site encompassing almost a full acre.

In 2014, the site was targeted by arsonists who set fire to the club’s pavilion. More than 100 years of club books were destroyed alongside the external structures.

Image: LDRS

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