Sunday, 29 March 2009


When planning permission was given for the temporary ARK Academy on playing fields it was only done so on the condition that the playing fields were accessible and maintained. The conditions, set out in Schedule B (08/0799) said that the departure from Policy OS8 state that 'there would be no overall loss of playing fields and access would be regulated via a Community Use Scheme to the benefit of the local community and in accordance with the requirements of Sport England.'

The pitches were closed off during the building of the temporary Academy on the grounds of security and it was stated that they would be made available once the building work was completed. This was not done and the pitches have remained out of use, despite council claims that they are available but that no one has requested permission to use them. Peter Moring counter-claimed in the local press this weekend that three local senior teams have asked to use the pitches but have been 'flatly refused access by Brent Council's Park Service'. If true this is in contravention of Condition 11 which states, "...the development shall not be occupied unless prior thereto, the football pitches have been re-provided in accordance with details submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority".

A glance at the photographs show that the pitches are not fit for use: there are no goal posts or pitch marking and the field resembles medieval ridge and furrow. Sports England would not be impressed and the condition of the pitches is in direct contravention of conditions 12 and 13. 13 states, "Prior to the commencement of the use a Management and Maintenance Scheme for the football pitches and the existing pavilion for a period of 3 years, to include measures to ensure the standard of pitch surfaces over the next 3 years, and management responsibilities, a maintenance schedule and a mechanism for review, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority after consultation with Sport England".

The Planning Authority and Sport England have clearly not kept their eyes on this particular ball and the result has been a loss of facilities to the local community.

1 comment:

Jean said...

It is good to see photos of the state of the pitches. The guards and their dogs usually ensure you can't stay long enough to take photos. But it is also so sad to see the empty grounds every time I go past when it used to be so full of life with youngsters playing there and also the adult teams. I understand in the latest statistics the amount of stop and search has increased on the Chalkhill estate. Those young people wouldn't be hanging around in the evenings if the grounds were still open.