Thursday 26 September 2019

Cash-strapped QPCS Academy withdraws licensing application after residents claimed 'You're turning the school into a pub or night club'

A licensing application made by Queens Park Community School that had  attracted strong opposition from some neighbouring residents as well as minority support from some concerned about education funding cuts has been withdrawn according to the Kilburn Times LINK . An application for a 3G floodlit football training pitch is going ahead. The school said it had 'heard residents concerns' about the licensing application but would use the income from lets of the pitch to the benefit of pupils.

Opponents claimed that the licensing hours of 10am to 23.30 (including 'drink up time') were unreasonable with some claiming that this amounted to a change of use from an educational premises to an entertainment venue. Noise and anti-social behaviour were cited as having a negative impact on a residential area while others questioned whether alcohol should be served when children are present on the premises.

An example of the  objectors' arguments can be found HERE.

Those supporting the application included some governors and ex-governors of the school who said that the school needed to generate an additional income in an era of education cuts and that entertainment offered at the school (live entertainment, recorded music, performance of dance, film screenings) would be to the benefit of the community as well as making an offer of a large venue for weddings, celebrations etc. They claimed that the school has promised sufficient detailed safeguards to address residents' concerns. A example of a supportive comment which details the safeguards is available HERE.

There were 67 objections and 19 supportive comments.

A key aspect of any licensing application is the view of the local police. They objected to the application and listed  conditions that would need to be met if it were to be approved. HERE

Queens Park Community School is not run by Brent Council. It is a Co-operative Society Academy.

 The applications are symptomatic of the increasing desperation of schools to win additional income streams from their premises faced with funding cuts. Brent Council recently took action against local schools that let their playgrounds out for Event Day parking cutting off that additional income stream.

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