Residents concern over dangerous derelict club

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A once popular bowling club has become a dangerous derelict property that is now attracting drug users and other unwanted visitors.

The former Casting Social Club, in Etna Road, Falkirk, closed its doors for the last time back in 2012 and has been lying empty ever since, awaiting demolition so houses can be developed on the site.

Nearby resident Jane Aitken now has real fears for the young people who hang around the property.

She said: “It has been lying like this for some time and the rubbish alone is terrible, but there has been drug users using the site and I have contacted police about it.

“Someone is going to get hurt. There are young children who go in there and they have come back and showed me hypodermic needles they have found there.

“And it now looks like travellers have set up.”

Tommy McMillan, director of the property’s owners Alchemy Inns, visited the site this week and said he was aware travellers had moved onto the property, but not that it was being used by drug takers.

He said: “We’re aware of the issues and now the travellers have moved on. The fence closing off the property was stolen in February and we called the police about that.

“We had a company who were keen to develop the site but that has fallen through. Things are moving on now though and we are now looking at getting planning permission to build houses there towards the end of the year.

“We should be starting cleaning the area up in September.”

Mr McMillan bought the club 17 years ago when it was under threat, but by 2012 he said it was no longer financially viable to keep open as 
it was around £20,000 in debt. Four years ago an application to redevelop the site was submitted to the council’s planning department and in 2014 the application to demolish the property was granted.

Before the club closed for good in September 2012, an ill-fated campaign started to try and save the community facilities, which included a bowling green, three tennis courts and a clubhouse.

The club, established 90 years ago, has not had its troubles to seek since the turn of the century.

It was first threatened with closure back in 2000 under former owners Glynwed.