Rugby club could lose its training grounds if free school locates to Gladstone Park

Kilburn Cosmos use playing fields in Gladstone Park

Kilburn Cosmos use playing fields in Gladstone Park - Credit: Archant

The head of rugby club has accused a free school of not consulting them over controversial plans to build a site on their playing fields in Gladstone Park.

Kilburn Cosmo Rugby Club, could be forced to find new grounds if the proposals by Gladstone School are given the green light by Brent Council.

Nigel Green, who chairs the club, which boast around 250 members of varying age groups, claims that members are disappointed by the “narrowness” of the consultation.

Telling the Times that the team have not been approached over the controversial plans, Mr Green, who has been with the Cosmos for three years, added: “If the plans go ahead, what would it mean for the club?

“Where would we go?

The rugby club have been playing weekly matches against their fiercest rivals for seven years on the grounds every season – which extends from September through to March.

The club has since been paying “a five figure sum” to use the council owned site, which is Metropolitan Open Land and has same level of protection as the Metropolitan Green Belt in terms of development.

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Mr Green added: “We are not necessarily against the school but we feel there are other requirements that need to be considered.”

Cllr Alison Hopkins, Lib Dem councillor for Dollis Hill, who has lobbied against the controversial proposals said it would be a crying shame for the Cosmos to lose their grounds.

“I think it would be awful because they are a good bunch and good for the local community,” she said.

“They give children and young adults an outlet to be health and active as well as a means to socialise with people their age.

“I do have strong believes that sport being a good way of diverting negative energy into something positive.”

The founders of Gladstone School maintain that there is sizeable support from the local community.

Paul Phillips, Gladstone’s principal, previously told the Times: “It won’t affect the fabulous acres of beautiful open space we all treasure in nearby Gladstone Park – indeed would probably enhance it, adding a wealth of leisure activities and resources for the local community, as well as a much-needed new school.”

Ray Watson, the school’s education adviser told the Times that the school had been in discussion with the rugby club, and suggests the possibility of sharing the playing fields.

He added: “School needs sporting facilities so there is no reason why there can’t be other users of the site and we actively encourage that.

“Lots of schools have good relationships with sports groups and clubs that use the same facilities.”

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