Arsenal Times
Arsenal told to think again - repercussions?
By Boris Mellor
July 7 2008

Queensland Road

ARSENAL have been asked by Islington Council to rethink its plans for the Queensland Road redevelopment. The cub's proposals, in a so called consultation document, would have meant the end for a community sports centre next to the Emirates stadium.

  The club have been told by the council to come back with new plans to redevelop the site. Planners fear that Arsenal's proposed development was too large, and that proposals for a new multiplex cinema would have put the nearby historic Holloway Odeon at risk. Nor was there any proposal to replace the now demolished JVC/02 centre.

The council have informed Arsenal FC that the application was likely to be turned down in its present form. Councillor Terry Stacy, Lib Dem deputy leader of Islington told the Islington Tribune "There has been considerable strength of feeling locally about various aspects of this development - "We all want to get the Queensland Road dev­elopment back on track as quickly as possible but with Arsenal and the local community working together to get the balance right for everyone."


Hackney Town Hall

Supporters of the campaign lobby Islington Council

Ian Shacklock, organiser of the CAMPAIGN FOR COMMUNITY SPORTS CENTRE AT ARSENAL who has collected more than 3,000 signatures in favour of a community sports centre on the site, was delighted by the move. He told the Islington Tribune, "This keeps the door open for a sports complex just when we thought all hope was lost".


With the property market in free fall failure to get permission to go ahead with the scheme could have serious financial implications. It's a pity that the Arsenal board's attitude has failed to win over local support for their plans. A proposal for a more sympathetic local development, including a community sports centre may have persuaded the council to support their plans.

Instead of pickets outside the Town Hall demanding a sports centre there could have been local support for the redevelopment. Having got the new stadium they wanted directors are guilty of ignoring the needs of the local community. Less hubris and more compassion might help them build the club's local support.


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