“I am delighted that the government has listened to the views of local residents and has turned down the planning application to build houses on the Gaelic Athletic Association’s site in Avery Hill Road” said Clive Efford after hearing that Meg Munn MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Communities and Local Government, had disagreed with the Planning Inspector’s recommendation and had refused the planning application.
The application has been the subject of a planning inquiry which took evidence in January this year. Clive Efford gave evidence to the inquiry and stressed that allowing the site to be built on would set a terrible precedent. He told the inquiry that if they allowed the site to be built on, then they would be giving a green light to other owners of playing fields to let them become derelict for a number of years before making huge profits by getting permission to develop them.
“This decision sends out a clear message to owners of sports grounds who are fencing off their land to allow it to become derelict in order to get planning permission to build on it in a few years time. That message is back off!”
The GAA has allowed the site to become derelict for the last 15 years. They then teamed up with a developer to ask for the site to be redisignated to allow them to build houses on it. Greenwich Council refused to allow this to happen and the developers appealed to the planning inquiry.
Now the minister has turned down the proposal pointing out on several occasions that the GAA had failed to market the site as a sports facility. It is vital that they now start looking for sports clubs to use the site.