Residents in Kingsbury divided over football club plans

Residents are divided over the plans (Pic credit: Adam Thomas)

Residents are divided over the plans (Pic credit: Adam Thomas) - Credit: Archant

A community in Kingsbury are divided over plans to upgrade a football pitch in their local park.

While some residents living near Silver Jubilee Park in Townsend Lane, are furious over the proposal by Kingsbury Football Club, others say it is good for the neighbourhood.

The club, which is also home to Hendon and Edgware Football Clubs, has proposed alterations in the park to bring pitch and facilities to national league status.

Freda Raingold, of Silver Jubilee Park Residents Association, is vehemently against the plans and claims it will result with a new stadium being built.

She claimed a match which took place over the Easter bank holiday created such a noise that residents had to stay indoors with their windows shut and will only get worse if proposals are passed.

She added: “Residents have many worries about the proposals, mainly the present floodlights, noise and litter. People living in Kinloch Drive bear the brunt of this.”

“Jubilee Park is metropolitan open land, close to a protected conservation area, gifted to the council for local people to enjoy.”

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David Privett, who lives in Kinloch Drive and whose garden is 30 metres from the edge of the park, said: “The primary reason the whole thing has gone out of hand is the football ground is used as a low level which is fine but we’re talking about something really commercial now. We’ve had no answers from the council on parking, on litter, catering facilities like burger vans and public toilets.”

However Anne John, the former leader of Brent Council, lives opposite the park and supports the plans.

She said: “I think there is a lot of unnecessary worry. To play in any league they need to try and upgrade the facilities at all levels of the game. We’ll get something out of this which will improve the park for all people.”

Rob Morris, who is the director of Kingsbury FC which owns Hendon FC, denied he was building a news stadium adding he wants to work with residents to find a solution.

He said: “There is a misconception of how big this will be. We are not building a stadium; we are upgrading what we’ve got here. The ground is in a state of disrepair with nothing spent on it for 30 years.”

As well as the Hendon FC and Edgware FC, which are small clubs, Mr Morris also runs 16 youth football schemes for children.

The London Irish Dance School are amongst a number of community groups that uses the clubs’ facilities for free.

Mr Morris added: “This is a community project and I want all the local residents to be able to use it and enjoy it.”

Alterations to the existing sports ground and club house include the demolition of the front porch and erection of a toilet extension, new turnstiles, gates and ticket booths, resurfacing of pathway, replacement pitch barriers, retractable covered walkway, players boxes, new covered seating and standing spectator areas around the ground.

Kingsbury FC, the management arm of Hendon FC applied for two mounted signs, which residents say they have not been consulted on and Brent Council have applied to build changing rooms in the ‘playground’ within Jubilee Park.

A council spokeswoman told the Times a final decision would be made by the planning committee no earlier than June 3.

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