Search

UCS head slams Barnet Council for ‘baffling’ rejection of sport pavilion plans

11:45 04 August 2014

UCS headteacher Mark Beard. Picture: Dieter Perry.

UCS headteacher Mark Beard. Picture: Dieter Perry.

Dieter Perry

The headteacher of a top Hampstead independent school has slammed Barnet Council for rejecting the school’s plans for a new sport pavilion, describing the decision as “baffling”.

An artist's impression of the proposed pavilion.An artist's impression of the proposed pavilion.

University College School (UCS), in Frognal, had applied to demolish the current Eve pavilion on its sports ground in Ranulf Road, Cricklewood, and replace it with a new building, as well as moving the main entrance to the sports ground.

The application attracted 58 letters of objection from neighbours living close by, who were particularly concerned about the proposal to make the ground’s secondary entrance - at the junction of Hocroft Road and Farm Avenue - its primary access point, which is currently in Ranulf Road.

On Monday last week, Finchley and Golders Green planning committee ignored a recommendation from officers to approve the scheme and rejected the application, citing safety concerns about the new proposed entrance being located on a sharp bend.

UCS headteacher Mark Beard told the Ham&High: “Barnet Council’s extraordinary vote to go against their own planning officer’s recommendation to approve an upgrade in the sports provision for over 1,250 children is quite astonishing and, indeed, baffling.

“The three councillors who voted against the scheme appeared to take no heed of the detail of the application itself and, instead, preferred to conjecture on hypothetical, unproven and unlikely scenarios as a means to scaremonger, whilst supporting those who did not want a new - and to our mind, along with that of Barnet’s own Highways Authority - safer access point near where they live.

“UCS has simply asked to modernise its pavilion and groundskeeping facilities from the 1920s to the 2020s, and it is disappointing that the local authority appeared to lack the vision and strength to recognise this need.”

Mr Beard insists the facilities in Eve pavilion, which dates back to 1923, are no longer fit for purpose and are in need of replacement, while the current Ranulf Road entrance is unsuitable for coaches entering the site.

He said new parking facilities on the site were also required in order to stop match day parking in residential streets, which is the current arrangement.

Mr Beard added: “The educational benefits of sport are well documented. That is why successive governments agree that school sport is very important. It is a shame that local government felt unable to help and we are currently reviewing our options on how to move forward.”

Childs Hill councillor Jack Cohen, one of the committee members who rejected the application last week, had serious concerns about the plans to move the main access point to the site.

He said: “This is about the sixth application to have the access on the bend made the main access and every time its come in front of the committee its been refused because of concerns about highway safety and the impact on the amenity for neighbours.

“It is a dangerous bend. If cars and coaches were to come out of that access I’d have real concern for road safety.

“The second issue is that there is a very green and open feel about that field and if you start introducing a large car parking space, I feel that will impact on the amenity for residents.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Justine Gosling, centre, with travel writer Charley Boorman, left, and professional rock climber Leo Houlding, right. Picture: Stewart Smith

A physiotherapist at the Royal Free Hospital is to run, hike and cycle the entire length of the “Iron Curtain” – with a little help from renowned explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and celebrity travellers Ben Fogle and Charley Boorman.

Yesterday, 12:30
Councillor Abdul Hai has been campaigner for extended hours at coroner's courts for years

The government has announced a review into out-of-hours coroner services after members of Muslim and Jewish communities complained they were being prevented from providing their loved ones with proper religious burials.

Yesterday, 08:00
Lindsey Wylie (centre) with the stars of All That Fall at the Jermyn Street Theatre, Dame Eileen Atkins (left) and Michael Gambon. Picture: Polly Hancock

Lindsey Wylie is the founder of the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) charity for disadvantaged children, which she set up in 2010 following the tragic death of her 17-year-old daughter Alexandra from cancer. She lives in Highgate with her family.

Fri, 17:28
Edward the Sloth is being taught to feed and climb by surrogate mothers

Keepers at London Zoo have enlisted a teddy to help them rear a baby male sloth after his mother became unable to feed him.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder