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Neighbours oppose Queen's Park school's application for commercial 3G floodlit football pitch

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:34 26 September 2019

Neighbours of Queen's Park Community School oppose 3G football pitch plans and premises licence threat. Picturre: Jörg Mohaupt

Neighbours of Queen's Park Community School oppose 3G football pitch plans and premises licence threat. Picturre: Jörg Mohaupt

Archant

Battle lines are being drawn in Queen's Park around a secondary school's application for a floodlit commercial football pitch which neighbours say will be "detrimental to the area".

Queen's Park Community School, in Aylestone Avenue, put in a double application for a premises licence and a 3G football pitch which set off alarm bells for some living nearby.

But on Tuesday morning school chiefs withdrew the proposed premises licence, saying they had "heard local residents' concerns". It would have allowed the sale of alcohol until 11.30pm, seven days a week.

The proposal alongside with Sports Agility Facility Development for a floodlit artificial turf training pitch is still going ahead, and the school will work with school lettings agent Schools Plus, which will receive half of any profits from bookings.

Head Judith Enright said the pitch would likely be used by the school until 4.30pm, by community groups until 6.30pm, and commercially until 9.30pm.

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She added: "Plans to develop a 3G pitch are small scale, involving one seven-a-side pitch that would be for our students' use in term times, with availability for private hire in the evenings and school holidays."

Saying she was "committed to supporting community use", she added: "Schools Plus manage the staffing and marketing of the school's evening and holiday lettings, but the school retains full control over whether or not we allow a booking to happen."

Neighbour Alex Norman said: "We're delighted they've taken a step back with the premises licence but number of residents feel the 3G pitch is the wrong application in the wrong place."

He added: "The astroturf is after all just plastic. This huge floodlit pitch is right next to Tiverton Green with its bee corridor - there are big environmental issues.

"We realise it has support of parents and teachers but we are concerned it is still going to be detrimental on us and our very quiet community."

A spokesperson for the Parents, Teachers' and Friends' Association (PTFA) said: "Whilst QPCS has extensive playing fields located to the west of the site, during the wet winter months, the pitches are often a mud bath and often unplayable."

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