Roe Green battle back on as Powerleague puts in appeal for commercial football pitches
- Credit: Archant
Villagers face a fresh battle to block plans for floodlit football pitches to be built on a conservation area.
Members of the Roe Green Village Residents Association (RGVRA) breathed a sigh of relief last June when Brent Council refused a joint application by Powerleague and Kingsbury High School for commercial pitches at the academy’s Bacon Lane campus, citing noise as its reason.
But as the village marks its centenary, campaigners are awaiting the outcome of an appeal lodged on December 21. If successful, the scheme would see five floodlit pitches and a floodlit multi-use games area created. Grass playing fields would be replaced with Astroturf for use by the public out of school hours until 10.30pm.
Debbie Nyman, of RGVRA, raised concerns at a meeting with the council on January 5. She explained how football matches are played on waterlogged pitches on Sundays from 10am to 2pm and residents were concerned about any increase in use for commercial purposes.
Ms Nyman said: “We thought the battle was over but now the school and Powerleague have appealed. In September residents noticed the playing fields that they so readily said were too waterlogged to play on, have been played on by a small club. The noise has been noticeable but nothing in comparison to what commercial pitches would be like if this appeal goes through. It will destroy the conservation area.”
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The residents have fought Powerleague’s application for two years saying a commercial pitch would endanger the environment which is home to several endangered species, increase traffic gridlock in the area and escalate pollution problems.
In July, Kingsbury High School’s headteacher Jeremy Waxman stood down and was replaced by Andy Stainton.
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A spokesman for Kingsbury High School and Powerleague said: “An appeal has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for the proposals to provide a new multi-sport facility on Kingsbury High School’s Bacon Lane site and this will now be objectively assessed by a Government appointed planning inspector.
“Both Kingsbury High School and Powerleague remain confident that the plans are entirely appropriate for the location and will await the appeal decision, once all relevant matters have been considered by the planning inspector.”