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Powerleague: Roe Green villagers’ battle against commercial football pitches is back on

PUBLISHED: 16:12 22 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:12 22 May 2018

Roe Green Village campaigners outside Kingsbury High School during a previous protest. Picture: Debbie Nyman

Roe Green Village campaigners outside Kingsbury High School during a previous protest. Picture: Debbie Nyman

Archant

Villagers in Roe Green have a fresh fight on their hands as an appeal is lodged to put commercial football pitches in a nearby secondary school.

Roe Green Village residents are fighting plans for a floodlit football pitch in its conservation area. Picture: Tony Revel Roe Green Village residents are fighting plans for a floodlit football pitch in its conservation area. Picture: Tony Revel

As neighbours prepare to celebrate the conservation area’s 100th anniversary this summer they must also gear up for a battle to save it.

Brent planning chiefs rejected a joint application from Kingsbury High School and Powerleague last June for floodlit commercial football pitches in the academy’s Bacon Lane campus for reasons of noise.

But now the two organisations have appealed to the Planning Inspectorate who will decide whether to allow the four pitches which will be open to public until 10.30pm, seven days a week.

Powerleague and Kingsbury originally asked for the appeal to be heard in writing – but the council wanted the case to be public, and the inspectorate sided with it. Debbie Nyman, of the Roe Green Village Residents Association (RGVRA), said: “We’ve got to get together and request that we too can take part in the hearing, so we’ll arm ourselves as we did before.

“There’s so much at stake. The whole community is at stake. The area is at stake. It will kill off the conservation area.”

Among recent changes to the village, known as Brent’s “jewel in the crown”, are more homes and a medical centre that takes 16,000 patients.

She added: “The street is still the same width. We don’t need the public pitches here – it’s the wrong facility in the wrong place.

“The school can do something else. They already let their pitches out on Sundays to local clubs. This is purely a money making thing with no concern for the local community at all.”

Jeremy Waxman, a supporter of the application who originally resigned from his role as headteacher of the school, has been reinstated following the surprise resignation of Andy Stainton, who also stood down after only five months.

A spokesman for Kingsbury High School and Powerleague said: “The proposed scheme represents an appropriate development that would revolutionise sport for the school’s diverse student population and benefit all students from other local schools that are part of the Schools Sports Partnership. We recognise the need to balance the desires of the local community with the best interests of the students, and we believe that the proposed scheme achieves this balance.”

The hearing is on July 31 at 10am.

Representations must be received by the Planning Inspectorate no later than June 13.

The appeal No. APP/T5150/W/17/3191326

By email to north1@pins.gsi.gov.uk or by post to The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3N, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN

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