Kenton school’s floodlit sports’ pitches approved despite ‘unbearable’ impact on local neighbours

Claremont High School Academy. Picture: Google

Claremont High School Academy. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

A Kenton school’s controversial floodlit sports’ pitch application has been given the green light despite the lack of proper noise assessments.

Claremont High School Academy’s plans for an additional floodlit 3G Astroturf sports pitch and cricket practice strip with incorporated batting cages was approved by Brent’s planning committee on Wednesday night (September 9).

But the meeting heard the new facilities - which will be let out commercially - would have a “unbearable” impact on nearby homes and that noise and traffic assessments were “not warranted”.

Susan Wood, secretary of the Wealdstone Brook Residents’ Association representing “approximately 2,000 residents”, said: “It appears that no noise or traffic assessments were carried out. The separate cricket practice facility will be a mere 70 inches, under two metres, from the back of residents’ gardens with floodlights brighter than the recommended cricket board levels for school and community use.”

Kenton’s Conservative councillor Suresh Kansagara said the plans would be “an extra burden for residents to bear” who already deal with noise, traffic and parking problems.

“Broadly speaking I am in favour of granting schools permission for facilities for the children and public but in this case I have very grave reservations.”

Nicola Hyde-Boughey, headteacher of the Claremont Avenue school, told the meeting they were “simply trying to improve facilities”.

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She said: “We’ve been expanding over a number of years. This means that as a school on quite a small site, which we are in a residential area, we have very limited space at break times and lunch times particularly.

“We need this extra outdoor space, our students are asking us for this.”

She said it would “enhance” the PE and scholarship programmes and would be let commercially to groups until 9pm during the week and 5pm at the weekend.

Cllr Michael Maurice, who also represents Kenton ward, was the only committee member to vote against the plans and suggested they had “not been assessed properly”.

He said those living nearby will “lose the enjoyment of their gardens” as a result of the new pitches. “We’re going to have a lot of extra noise because of it and we’re going to make living conditions quite unbearable,” he added.

Brent Council officers said any noise was expected to be “reasonable”.

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