Frustrated residents who find it almost impossible to park outside their own homes claim traffic will be “ten times worse” when Barnet Football Club relocates to The Hive stadium next season.
As Barnet FC’s loyal supporters get ready to follow their club to its new home in Camrose Avenue, people living nearby are worried traffic and parking problems will increase in the surrounding streets.
Barnet FC’s first team will play their matches for the 2013/14 season at The Hive, where it has been granted an initial ten-year lease to play league matches.
The 44-acre site has both artificial and natural grass football pitches, a bar and gym as well as conference rooms which are currently open for community use.
Zoe Halliday, who has lived in Camrose Avenue for 22 years, said: “Since The Hive opened parking has been bad but when the club arrives it will be ten times worse.
“Every day from 7pm to 11.30pm when the football pitches are open there’s nowhere to park – even if I pop out for a pint of milk I’ll come home and I won’t be able to park outside my own house. It’s unfair and lots of residents are concerned.
“The Hive’s great and I like that it’s there but something has to be done about the parking. I’d like residents’ parking to be brought in – I’m willing to pay for a permit just to park outside my house.”
Canons Park Residents' Association is also concerned that current traffic problems will be highlighted by the club’s presence in the area.
Secretary of the association Shirley Sackwild said: “At the weekends it’s already a pain to get a parking space if there’s something going on in town or at The Hive or Wembley. It’s a major bus route and one particular stretch of Whitchurch Avenue is narrower so if people park on both sides of the road, traffic just grinds to a halt.
“We’ve asked the council to put double yellow lines on one side of Whitchurch Avenue to at least keep the traffic flowing.”
But Barnet FC says it is “surprised” people are complaining about parking after Harrow Council approved plans for the club to relocate to The Hive in July last year.
A spokesman for the club said: “Even before the club relocated here there was going to be a football stadium on this site which had already been approved planning permission.
"The appropriate time to raise these issues was during the planning process so we are surprised that it has come to the fore during our tenancy.
“We have had many events here attracting larger crowds than at football matches and these have gone smoothly and successfully. We have held regular consultation meetings with local residents, many of whom feel that we are a positive addition to the area.
“We have been repeatedly told that our occupation has substantially improved the local area providing sport and community support.”
The Harrow Times is waiting for a comment from the council.