A BOWLING alley has been spared closure after a developer’s plans hit the gutter.

Cheshire East Council refused Albermarle Property Opportunities’ plan to replace Lakeside Superbowl’s sixteen lanes with new restaurants in October 2013.

Albermarle asked to the Secretary of State to review the decision, but on Monday, June 2, Government planning inspector Mrs AL Fairclough threw out the appeal.

She said the loss of the facility would have a ‘significantly adverse impact’ and considered submissions that revealed the nearest bowling alley would be 15 miles away in Hanley, Stoke.

“From the written evidence before me, I understand that the bowling alley is used by many local people of different ages including the elderly, disabled persons and young people,” she said.

“I have noted the numerous letters and petition from local residents, backed by their MP Edward Timpson, in support of the retention of the bowling facility.”

The decision comes as a reprieve for the Crewe 10 Pin Academy club, and bowling staff who feared for their jobs when the plans first emerged last July.

Mrs Fairclough added: “The appellant states that the bowling facility is not necessarily a community facility with an important social function and that it is not a sporting activity.

“However, given that bowling is an activity which involves physical movement and a great deal of interaction between participants and that the bowling facility provides a social base for meeting and events such as leagues competitions and social club play for all ages and abilities, including special needs as well as pool tables and amusement machines, I consider that it does provide an important social, health and community facility.”