LIVING ROOF: £6m leisure complex set for Preston countryside

GREEN BUILDING: Artist's impression of how the 'Flower Bowl' will look with a grass roof - and even sheep
GREEN BUILDING: Artist's impression of how the 'Flower Bowl' will look with a grass roof - and even sheep
  • Full planning application submitted for £6m leisure complex with living grass roof
  • Innovative living roof to be covered by meadowgrass, wild flowers and grazing sheep
  • Facilities to include a curling rink, tenpin bowling alley, crazy golf and a cinema
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New buildings don’t come much greener than one with sheep grazing in a meadow on the roof.

So councillors are expected to give the green light to a £6m leisure complex, designed to blend seamlessly into the rolling countryside near Preston.

The Barton Grange Group has submitted a full planning application for a building with an undulating grass roof which it is hoped will merge into the landscape next to the busy A6 at Brock.

Inside, the 4,866 square metre “Flower Bowl” will house state of the art sports and leisure facilities including an international standard curling rink, a tenpin bowling alley, crazy golf and a cinema, together with restaurant and cafe facilities. But outside, the complex will be partly hidden by an innovative living roof covered in meadowgrass and wild flowers and possibly home to grazing sheep.

Plans are currently with Wyre Borough Council and, if approved, building work could start later in the year on an area of farmland next to Barton Grange Garden Centre and bounded by the Lancaster Canal. The project will offer watersports on the canal, with kayaks and canoes for hire, along with outdoor and indoor crazy golf.

Guy Topping, MD of Barton Grange, said: “This is a major new development for us which we believe will bring much needed entertainment and leisure facilities to the area. The emphasis is on quality, premium facilities throughout.”

The inclusion of an international curling rink - only the second in England - is seen as one of the most exciting elements of the project. The only other dedicated English curling rink is near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

The “Flower Bowl” project is expected to create up to 80 new jobs. If approved building work could start later this year with the centre scheduled to open in 2017.