An Aberdeen community’s plans to transform a disused bowling green into a sustainable market garden and café have taken a significant step forward.
The Bonnymuir Green Community Trust successfully purchased the Bonnymuir Bowling Green for £120,000 early last month.
The local group has long sought to bring the club back to life as an asset for Midstocket residents and now they have submitted a formal planning application to Aberdeen City Council to officially start work on the project.
The organisation was the very first in the north-east of Scotland to successfully buy private land since the Scottish Government introduced community buy-out legislation in 2015.
It was funded through a Scottish Land Fund grant and cash raised through community support and a charity partnership with the Sainsburys shop in Rosemount.
Should its application be approved, the trust hope to transform the green into a market garden capable of producing fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Proposals have also been put forward to turn the former pavilion into a café and education space.
The trustees hope that if everything goes as planned, the development could be completed in 2020.
A ballot of 984 local residents held earlier this year found that 96% of those asked where in favour of the plans.
North-East MSP Lewis Macdonald, who submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament to congratulate the trust, has long backed the proposals to bring the site back into use.
He believes the local community will continue to be supportive of the plans and back the planning application.
Mr Macdonald said: “Ever since the trust successfully bought the land just a few weeks ago, things have really picked up pace and are really progressing now, which I think is very commendable.
“They have managed to secure the funding and purchase the green amicably from the previous owners and now it looks as if the local community will be able to reap the rewards of all of the trust’s hard work sooner rather than later.
“I am sure local residents will offer their utmost support to this planning application, which I am sure will be successful, and help make this much-needed site a reality.”