Battle lines drawn as school’s 3G pitch decision heads to meeting

Neighbours of Queen's Park Community School oppose 3G football pitch plans and premises licence thre

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

A group of residents have stepped up calls for Queen's Park Community School to backtrack on plans to build a 3G sports pitch. 

Neighbours living around the school near Brondesbury Park have said the noise, traffic and light pollution from the all-weather artificial development will blight their estate. 

They are also worried about floodlighting and year-round commercial usage

The school’s headteacher has said the facility on land adjoining Tiverton Green is essential for training in bad weather with the current pitch frequently waterlogged. 

She added that a 3G [third generation] pitch will be reserved for community use for at least 90 minutes a day, and then available for commercial lettings.

The application for an artificial turf pitch, floodlighting and fencing was lodged in May 2020 but local opposition has held it up. It is set to go to Brent Council’s planning committee on December 15 to decide whether planning permission will be granted.  

Several local councillors - who are not part of the committee - have endorsed the plan, to the frustration of Queen’s Park campaigner Chris Lipka.

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He said: “[There have been] objections and pleas from residents. 

“Despite a two-year delay, two separate planning applications, coupled with over 500 pages of flawed supporting application documentation and failed determination periods, [it is still being pushed forward].”

He added that concerns about noise had seen an "acoustic fence" added to the blueprints but said this would be "ineffective".

Mother-of-two Gabi, who did not wish to give her surname, added: “This level of noise until 9pm every weekday, all year round including holidays, feels deeply unfair and a body blow.” 

Bogumila, who has lived nearby for 40 years, said: “They still refuse to commission a bat report, because they know that if they do (as we have) they will likely find that the area is home to foraging and potentially roosting bats.” 

The neighbours have vowed to continue their fight against the project but Queens Park Community School headteacher Jude Enright has objected to their complaints.

She said the school has commissioned professional lighting and ecology consultants to look at potential bat routes and risks.

“The school has spent two years listening to complaints and adjusting our plans in response to all the objections raised,” she added. 

“The school has changed the lighting design to one that will provide a high quality operational standard that has a low risk of impact on residential amenity and ecological receptors.”

She added that a traffic report has found the proposal will have a minor impact on the road and that noise mitigation measures have been added to designs.