THE much-anticipated prospect of a bowling alley for the Strabane area could soon become a reality, if new plans come to fruition.
Hoping for an imminent ‘strike’ with planners, local couple – David and Sharon Booth – have officially submitted proposals to develop a four lane bowling facility and restaurant at the site of the existing Mellon Fun Farm.
To be situated at the popular kids’ attraction, near the Ulster American Folk Park, it is further hoped any new facility could provide a welcome jobs boost for the locality.
The planning support statement explains how the applicant – Mrs Booth – identified a gap in the market for a bowling alley, particularly for teenagers and young people, as the nearest existing facilities are as far away as Irvinestown and Derry.
It stated, “The proposal is simply an extension of the existing facility, where an additional attraction will be provided to address an existing gap in the market for a particular age group. The existing fun farm is aimed at a younger age group.
“The bowling alley proposal will provide a facility for the evening economy, where there is an existing gap in the market for the younger members of the community.
“This will not only provide further facilities for existing patrons of the facility, but also attract further tourists and users in the future.”
Proposed opening hours are 4pm to 10.30pm, daily, excluding Mondays.
The application also emphasised that the countryside will not be adversely affected by the proposed bowling facility, as the building itself will be designed to complement its rural setting and will use sustainable building methods and materials.
With ongoing support from Tourism NI, the applicants also highlighted how the proposal supports the Tyrone and Sperrins Destination Plan and also meets the objectives to create “an attractive and prosperous” rural area set out in the Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland 2035.
New access arrangements and car parking are also proposed within close proximity to the proposed new bowling alley building.