4×4 track for old bowls club

Broken windows.

There are plans to develop the abandoned Claremont bowling club into a temporary 4×4 trail adventure park.

This comes after lessee Rashaad Carlsen struck a deal last year with the Claremont Beneficiary Trust – the property owners – to temporarily develop the land while they seek developers.

The Bowwood Road property was transferred to the Claremont Beneficiary Trust in 2017, following a land-claim process but became home to the homeless and criminal elements.

The property has been vacant for several years and is run-down. Mr Carlsen hopes to revive it with his proposal.

The Claremont In-a-City 4×4 Adventure and Amusement Park will include 23 obstacles for novice and advanced drivers with marshals helping drivers, an outside car wash for the vehicles, a children’s play area and a restaurant. There would also be 24-hour security, lighting to the area and “improved landscapes”, Mr Carlsen said.

He said he had submitted a land-use application to the City in February but had withdrawn it in June, and had now decided to include the application with a town planner’s proposal for the site.

The trail could be open within a month of the application being approved, he said, noting that he had a demolition permit for the clubhouse that was valid for three years.

“All service providers are on stand-by and will work simultaneously to complete the site within a month.”

The trail would need to be removed once that trust was ready to develop, but the temporary set-up would allow him to test the concept, he said.

“This will give me a chance to see how well this will work in the inner city. We have already identified another two properties that could be developed into a trail park.”

Marian Nieuwoudt, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, said the City had not received the new land-use application but had approved the demolition permit in March.

Upper Claremont Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association chairman Alexis van der Merwe said Mr Carlsen and the trust had approached them last year about the proposal, telling them it could take four or five years for the trust’s plans for the site to get off the ground, and an interim tenant was needed who could improve security and stop the property being invaded.

The association had agreed to support the application for the demolition of the clubhouse on condition the immediate and long-term development planned for the site did not threaten its character and heritage value, Mr Van der Merwe said.

The association, he added, had asked that a see-through fence be put up around the site; that there be no floodlights; and that the developers employ an arborator to map and record all existing trees and preserve them.

Claremont police station commander Colonel Mary Louw said they had previously helped the lessee move vagrants from the property, but the owner had since hired security.

“Currently there are no homeless or criminal elements on the property . The security contacts us if they experience problems with trespassing,” she said.

The Tatler approached the Claremont Beneficiary Trust for comment but it did not do so by the time this edition went to print.

For more information, contact Mr Carlsen on 072 293 2032