QPCS: School's 3G pitch gets planning permission

The exterior of the school and grounds.

The exterior of the school and grounds. - Credit: Google Maps

A controversial flood-lit 3G pitch is set to be built on Queen’s Park Community School grounds after planning permission was granted.

Brent Council’s decision ends a two-year battle that has seen the secondary’s appeals to replace their ‘waterlogged’ fields clash with the Brondesbury Park Residents Association. 

The school (QPCS) put in their application for an artificial turf pitch, floodlighting and fencing adjoining Tiverton Green in May 2020. The school said it could be used for at least 90 minutes per day and then available for commercial lettings.

Councillor Erica Gbajumo, Labour member for Brondesbury Park, said: “I am absolutely delighted for the pupils at QPCS that the 3G pitch has finally been approved by Brent’s planning committee.”

Headteacher Ms Jude Enright, writing in a newsletter published on the school's website, said: "This 3G pitch will make a huge difference to our students and the wider community, with 14 local organisations from QPR Community Trust to United Borders keen to make use of this exciting new facility.

"It is also important to note the time and care taken by the Brondesbury Park Ward Councillors Gbajumo, Ethapemi and Grahl, in listening to the concerns of local residents, and representing these to the school so that the plans were adjusted to mitigate against potential harm."

Brondesbury Park Residents Association rallied against plans, claiming the traffic, light and noise into the evening would blight the neighbourhood.

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A statement from the group after the decision read: “Residents are bitterly disappointed and upset. Residents maintain their firm view that this development is completely inappropriate, intrusive to the well-being of the residents and the character of the area, poorly located and detrimental to the local natural environment."

However, the association is planning to continue its opposition. 

The statement added: “We are now considering our next steps and taking advice on having this unjust decision judicially reviewed.”

Cllr Gbajumo, who was criticised by the association for her stance, did not hold back with her feelings towards opponents - calling their effort “dismal”. 

“Politics is about finding compromise and while I know not everyone will agree with the outcome,” she said. 

“It can be of absolutely no dispute that giving students a new facility to exercise, practise and hone their talents is a win for everyone in the community.”

She added: “London is not a city that stands still and nor will Brondesbury Park ward.”

Concerns raised by the residents association had been considered within the council officer's report. 

"The potential impacts associated with the use of lights and the hours of use have been considered and discussed within the committee report," the report stated. It added that proposed changes to the plans, including a rule of no playing beyond certain times or on Sundays, were not considered necessary under the National Planning Policy Framework.