What we Know so Far
Lucozade Powerleague in conjunction with Kingsbury High School has not yet submitted a formal Planning Application to Brent Council. However, the proposal describes the following:
1 x full sized pitch (100m x 64m)
1 x MUGA Pitch (47.6m x 31.1m)
4 x Small Pitches (30m x 20m)
2 x Cricket Nets (28m x 5m)
16 x existing spaces
52 x proposed parking places
5 x proposed disabled parking spaces
32 x cycle parking spaces
What the Proposal Fails to Mention
Parties and Corporate Events
Lucozade Powerleague is a large commercial organsiation that wants to run the new installation for profit. Whilst part of the proposal may see an upgrade to some of Kingsbury High School's ailing sports facilities, this proposal and the facilities it brings are aimed at making a profit from hiring sports pitches to parties and corporate events. Please refer to the Lucozade Powerleague website to see what is on offer.
Sale of Alcohol
The vast majority of Lucozade Powerleague's clubs around the country are licensed premises*. Actually, we are not aware of any Lucozade Powerleague club that does not have a licensed bar. Whilst the proposal does not specifically mention the installation of a licensed bar, there is in fact no need to include this in a Planning Application. A license to sell and serve alcohol can easily be obtained. Given that for Lucozade Powerleague a significant proportion of revenue stems from running a bar and corproate events it is no stretch of the imagination to expect that an application for a license will be made. After all, "[Lucozade Powerleague] got the perfect place to hold your party." (see Lucozade Powerleague website)
*) It appears to be Lucozade Powerleague's modus operandi to seek planning permission for a so-called "sports facility" first and then apply for a Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003 in order to sell alcohol for its many corporate events and parties. This is readily evidenced by the various planning and licensing applications we have had sight of, such as for the Lucozade Powerleague centres in Hounslow and Mill Hill.
Light and Noise Pollution
Lucozade Powerleague runs some 38 installations up and down the country and these tend to have one thing in common: they are located on brownland or on industrial estates, away from residential areas. And there is a very good reason for this. Having 70-100 players (not including any spectators) run and scream around the pitches generates a lot of noise – not to mention the referee's whistle. And this does not end when the last players leave the premises at 11pm at night. The same applies to light pollution. Even precision floodlights create stray light that illuminates the surrounding area as well as the sky by means of reflection from the pitches themselves. The lights particularly would have a damaging effect on the local wildlife, including bats and barn owls which forage in this area.
We invite everyone to take a look for themselves by visiting one of the local Lucozade Powerleague facilities at Wembley, Hendon or Mill Hill. You may also read from residents already living next to one of these facilities and how this appears to have made their live a misery.
7 Days a Week, 8am – 11pm
The facility will be open from 8am in the morning to 11pm at night and on every day of the week, including Bank Holidays. Please don't just take our word for it: Lucozade Powerleague website
For many of its facilities Lucozade have already aquired a late licence on weekends for parties and private hire, which means customers spill out of their facilities in the early morning hours.
In situations where Powerleague initially applied for shorter opening hours – seemingly to appease residents – it subsequently applied for extended hours (see Birmingham).
Demographics and Travel
Participation football does not meet the needs of all the community. It is aimed at one sport which caters predominantly for the male population and at a specific age range! The demographics of the local communities are fairly well known and appear to stand in stark contrast to participation football.
So, where does Lucozade Powerleague expect its customers to come from? That's a good question. One thing is clear though. Participation football does not meet the needs of the local communities, and Lucozade Powerleague customers will be driving to the facility from further afield, such as Harrow, Edware and Stanmore which in turn will significantly increase the congestion and parking burden on the local area.
Income Source for Kingsbury High School and Travel
In 2011, when the School previously sought a business partnership with GOALS plc, the Village’s Residents’ Association, RGVRA, met with the headmaster of the School, Jeremy Waxman OBE, who denied that his plans were about destroying green spaces for profit, claiming that "[this] was never designed as an income source for the School".
The proposal states that during school times, Kingsbury High School will have exclusive access to the new sports facilities. Whilst we expect pupils of Kingsbury High School to receive the benefit from this, it appears obvious that there may be plenty of spare capacity available that the School could make available to surrounding schools.
As an Academy that is run as a commercial business, this may pose as a rather welcome income stream but one that would come at a further burdon to the local communities that would have to endure the consequences of further stress on local traffic with external pupils being driven around by the coach load.
Flooded School Grounds
Jeremy Waxman OBE repeately states that the existing playing fields "[get] frequently waterlogged and [remain] unusable for much of the academic year".
This clearly begs the question why the school grounds get flooded this badly, and what would happen to the surrounding areas if these flooded grounds would be built upon.
Artifical pitches are made from aggregate that is frequqently linked to reports of causing cancer.
The Daily Mail is reporting of new doubts over the safety of artificial football pitches. It tells the story of 18-year-old goalkeeper Nigel Maguire who developed Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Suggesting that toxins embedded in artificial pitches are to blame, the Daily Mail is quoting Nigel's father: 'He used to come home with his kit covered in the stuff. We'd have to scrape it off.'
To read the full article please see here: Daily Mail: 'My teenage son's cancer was caused by artificial football pitches, says former NHS boss as he launches campaign to halt turf's use over fears they contain dangerous chemicals'