0 Eric Pickles urges communities to take to their own bowling greens

The communities secretary, Eric Pickles, has issued a message to bowling enthusiasts across England, inviting them to bid to take over unused land, sow grass and get bowling.

Pickles said that, under "neighbourhood plans" to give communities the right to designate green spaces and protect them from developers, local people could guarantee that lawns are protected.

"Bowling is one of the nation's most popular pastimes and the bowling green has long been part of the fabric of our towns and villages," he added.

"The new powers we are proposing can help to preserve this part of England's sporting and cultural heritage for years to come."

Separate plans to introduce a community right to buy would delay the bidding process when councils are selling off ground, giving local groups the opportunity to put together bids and create community-owned green spaces.

A community right to challenge gives groups, including council-owned bowling clubs, the chance to take over the provision.

See the rest of the artilceon the following link:-Guardian.co.uk

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