Update on proposed new multi-sport facilities

We wanted to update you regarding our partnership with Powerleague and the proposed development of new multi-sport facilities at the School.

In particular, we would like to clarify and correct misinformation on the proposals circulated by third parties.

We are aware that various leaflets and flyers are being circulated by third parties who object to our plans. We naturally respect the right of any person or group to object, but are concerned that literature being circulated contains inaccurate misinformation on our plans.

Please see the following short summary note that seeks to clarify and correct the assertions being made:

Kingsbury High School and Powerleague – key issues summary: April 2016

This note clarifies misinformation and responds to some of the claims circulated by third party objectors to the scheme.

Claim: The School has “amazing grass fields” and may be selling these off to Powerleague

Response: The School has grass sports pitches on both of our campuses. The proposals would replace half of the pitches on our Bacon Lane Campus with artificial multi-sport pitches. We have aspired to provide artificial pitches on this site for many years because the existing grass pitches currently become waterlogged and unusable for most of the academic year.

The remaining grass pitches at our Bacon Lane campus would be retained and improved to make them flat and remove the current slope. Our grass pitches at Princes Avenue would be unaffected.

The School will not be selling the pitches to Powerleague. They will remain in the School’s ownership and be leased to Powerleague.

Claim: Powerleague will seek to apply for an alcohol licence at the facility

Response: The School and Powerleague can confirm that as part of our operational agreement the facility would not have an alcohol licence. This would not align with our values and Powerleague operates a number of sites in partnership with educational institutions which are not licenced to serve alcohol.

Claim: Should the School be in partnership with Lucozade, whose drinks are so sweet that children would exceed their recommended sugar intake in just one serving?

Response: The School is in partnership with Powerleague, not Lucozade. Without this partnership the School would not be able bring forward the proposed new facility and the significant health benefits it would deliver for our students.

As parents will know, the School has recently signed up to the Food for Life Partnership. Food for Life Partnership schools are embedding food education into their curriculum, and a focus on ‘pupil voice’ means students take ownership and decide their own priorities. The Partnership is about bringing people together – teachers, students, families, cooks, caterers, farmers and the wider community – to enjoy good, wholesome food and change food culture in England significantly.

We also provide healthy school meals through the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients, providing students with choice and variety whilst delivering great value for money. We follow the government’s nutrition guidelines so food and drinks options are healthy and menus are well-balanced.

Claim: Astroturf is created from ‘toxic material’

Response: Powerleague’s playing surfaces consist of granulated crumb rubber. The health effects of this material have been the subject of more than 50 technical studies over the last two decades. None of these studies has established any link between artificial turf and any health issues.

Claim: The pitches will be hired out late into night, mainly to 18-30 year old males

Response: The facility would be for exclusive use of the School and our students during school hours.

Outside school hours, the facility would be made available to local community groups for 30 hours a week at selected times free of charge. The pitches are highly flexible spaces and can be used to promote a variety of sport and recreational activities, increasing community participation opportunities.

The pitches would also be available to the general public for hire in the afternoons and evenings outside the periods above. This is a requirement to fund the development of the facility. The pitches would be in use up to 10.30pm from Monday to Friday; 9.00pm on Saturday and 10.00pm on Sunday, with a number of measures (set out below) to ensure no unacceptable impact on the surroundings.  The pitches would operate using staggered start times so that the pitches closest to residential properties would close half an hour earlier than the rest of the facility.  The facilities would be available for children’s parties, room hire, as well as a wide range of sporting activities.

It must also be noted that Brent Council’s Playing Pitch Strategy highlighted a lack of suitable female showering facilities in the Borough. Female showering facilities would be provided as part of this scheme, helping to address this identified shortfall.

Claim: The proposals, with associated light and noise, will affect the character of the area

Response: Powerleague has commissioned detailed assessments of the light and noise impact from the plans. The site already has prominent background noise levels, (mainly from the nearby road traffic on Stag Lane), and the scheme would include measures to control noise, including a new fence along the southernmost pitch. As such, noise levels would be within World Health Organisation guidelines and there would be no unacceptable impact.

In respect of lighting, standard floodlighting for a full sized football pitch is 15 metres high. The proposed floodlight height for our large pitch would be 12 metres. A lighting assessment submitted with our planning application confirms that the vast majority of light generated would be contained within the School’s grounds. The floodlights would utilise modern directional floodlights which would ensure that there would be no significant light spillage onto residential areas.

In addition to this, as part of the scheme many existing floodlights on the campus would be lowered, removed or modernised, including the existing floodlight on the access road and the floodlights situated on the adjacent playgrounds. This would help to reduce light spillage and glare from the school lighting on residential properties situated to the north of the site.

 

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