SCHOOL PROJECT THREATENS CONSERVATION COMMUNITY
Roe Green Village Conservation Area, Kingsbury, London (January 2016)
Roe Green Village is preparing to defend itself, for a second time, against an inappropriate business development that would threaten both the cohesion of the community and the habitat of local wildlife in what is regarded as one of the last few tranquil villages in North West London. Designated a Conservation Area by Brent Council in 1968, the Village enjoys a unique community bond amongst its residents.
Neighbouring Kingsbury High School, is set to gain a moderate financial return by converting its (currently grass) playing fields through a commercial partnership with Lucozade-Powerleague. Lucozade-Powerleague proposes to install six Astroturf pitches, along with facilities for its customers, with all the flood-lighting, noise and anti-social behaviour that they would bring. Roe Green Village residents are having to fight their corner once again, when the School submits its plans to Brent Council.
In 2011, when the School previously sought a business partnership with GOALS plc, (see http://www.youtube.com/roegreenvillage) 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".
At that time, the community offered to fund-raise and support the School’s efforts to upgrade facilities through other means, but instead the Head has gone behind the community’s back and brought in another business partner, Lucozade-Powerleague – with very little notice of their intentions until the Christmas holidays came round.
There are elderly and vulnerable residents whose homes back right onto the proposed installation.
We believe this development is the “WRONG FACILITY in the WRONG LOCATION.”
For further information on Roe Green Village and its Residents' Association please contact
The layout of Roe Green Village was first drawn up in 1916 by Sir Frank Baines, Principal Architect of His Majesty’s Office of Works (whose other work includes the restoration of Eltham Palace and the design of the former ICI Headquarters (now MI5) building on Millbank, by the Thames). Construction of Roe Green Village, with 250 dwellings on a 24-acre site, was completed by 1919.
Situated adjacent to Roe Green Park, the Village has retained its original design character. It is internationally recognised as a significant example of a wartime ‘munitions village’ (built for aircraft workers), which was planned along Garden Village lines. With its large gardens and many hedges, it is a haven for a variety of wildlife including species of bats and owls. Now approaching its centenary, the Village would rather be celebrating its unique character and its continuing attraction as a place to live than face the very disturbing prospect of an all-night, 365-days-per-year commercial facility backing onto the quiet and calm of a residential community that is also a Conservation Area.
Simon Braidman, a local wildlife expert, states that the noise and light pollution originating from these artificial football pitches "will upset this unique habitat for bats and other wildlife and inevitably drive them away".
Some years after the Village was completed, construction of Kingsbury High School, on Princes Avenue, was begun. Subsequently, the School expanded so that its buildings and grounds are now directly adjacent to the southern boundary of the Conservation Area. The School applied to change the use of its playing field land a few years ago and the Secretary of State for Education at the time consented to the disposal of that land for a 35-year period.
Residents are now deeply concerned that the special community character of Roe Green Village is gravely threatened by the insensitive KHS/Powerleague-Lucozade commercial proposals.