Local fears escalate around the application of the lighted football fields at Claremont High School Academy

More than 500 residents have signed a petition to prevent a Kenton school from installing lighted football pitches and a cricket track.

Plans for the Astroturf lands at Claremont High School on Claremont Avenue are presented to the Brent Planning Committee tonight (September 9).

The proposal includes an additional lighted artificial turf sports field and cricket training track with incorporated hitting cages, the installation of 12 floodlights, high fences with gates, as well as stairs and ramps. for pedestrians.

The school said the project was “an extension of the school facilities and the existing Astroturf which has been operating successfully since 2009”.

However, residents fear the spotlight will shine on neighboring properties and that the use of rubber-crumb Astroturf “would seep into Wealdstone Creek and the Brent River” and “affect the region’s ecological footprint.”

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They are also concerned about the increase in traffic and parking when sites are leased by the school for commercial purposes.

The site is used by Harrow United Football Club which offers football training clubs for children on weekends and after school.

Sue Wood, secretary of the Wealdstone Brook Residents’ Association, said: “This has been mismanaged by Brent’s council and should not go ahead.

“The cricket grounds are 70 inches from the back of the properties.

Projectors on site are 750 lux, which is well above the school and community recommendations of 300 lux.

“750 lux is the requirement of a center of excellence, not a student who only uses the area during class hours designated by the applicant.

“This objection was raised and completely ignored by the planning department as well as the noise pollution created by the proximity of the installation of cricket bats and nets to the residents’ premises.”

The group managed to get the request deferred last year after only 26 households were notified that the plans were going to the committee.

They filed an access to information request to see the plans “that were not in the public domain”.

Christine Morris, deputy director of Claremont, said there had been “a misunderstanding” on the part of residents and that the proposal was “not a commercial enterprise” but “for the benefit of the students”.

She added: “The main objective is to improve the facilities for the children. We have rentals from 6pm to 9pm on weekdays and weekends until 5pm which is the same as our existing Astroturf facility. Parking is on our site.

“We always aim to be caring neighbors and we don’t allow events to take place late at night.”

A Brent Council spokesperson said: “Our consultation went well beyond legal requirements with letters sent to 241 neighboring properties.

“The application drawings were available on our website from the start, but the supporting reports were not due to a technical issue which was then resolved, before local residents were again consulted to ensure that ‘they had the opportunity to consult the reports and to express themselves. .

“It will now be up to the committee to make a decision as it does for all other requests, taking into account the town planning policy, the town planning law and the comments received during the consultation.

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