School sports hall planning appeal has 'left a bitter taste in the mouth' say neighbours

5:21pm Tuesday 3rd June 2014

By Bruce Thain

Neighbours of a school that plans to open its sports hall to the public say they feel their concerns have been ignored.

Park High School, in Thistlecroft Gardens, Stanmore, was last year denied planning permission by Harrow Borough Council’s planning committee to allow clubs to use its sports hall.

But earlier this year the school lodged an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, raising concerns from people living in surrounding roads.

The school is at the end of a cul-de-sac which regularly gets clogged with cars in the morning and at the end of the school day.

Paul Noble, who has been fighting the plans, said: "It is not that we are against the school it is just these plans will make the traffic so much worse.

"Living next to a school I understand there will be disruption at the beginning and the end of the day, but if these plans go through, we will have it continuously until 10pm at night.

“All the residents feel they have done everything they can but the school gets another shot to get it approved. It’s very disappointing and just isn’t fair.

“The whole thing has left a bitter taste in the mouth really and we feel we have been ignored.”

The school argues it has demonstrated a demand for shared community use of the sports hall and the proposals comply with regional and local planning policy.

In planning documents, the school says “the additional use of sports hall would occur out of school hours and would be carefully controlled and monitored by the school in order to avoid any detrimental impact on the neighbouring residents.”

The original plans the public would have only be allowed to use the sports hall between the hours of 6pm and 10pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays for a two-year ‘trial period’.

The school has letters from ten different clubs which have registered an interest in using the hall and given their support.

Planning officers had recommend permission be granted, but they were turned down by councillors.

A decision from the Planning Inspectorate is expected in the next few months.

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