Arsenal’s neighbours respond to claims club needs more concert money
PUBLISHED: 11:46 16 December 2013 | UPDATED: 11:46 16 December 2013
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Frustrated families living close the Arsenal’s Emirates stadium hit back at the club today over claims it needs money from extra concerts.
Residents spoke up at an ongoing planning appeal against the town hall’s decision to block the club from doubling the number of concerts held at the stadium.
They claimed that the Premier League leader’s were the only ones who benefitted from the concerts while those living in the surrounding areas bore all the negative effects.
Evidence was also presented in the form of sound readings collected by residents, which they say prove the club has already been breaching agreed noise levels at concerts that took place in the summer.
It came after Arsenal’s chief executive director addressed the appeal on Tuesday (December 10), saying the club needed to increase the number of concerts from three to six in order to compete at the highest level and provide more jobs in the community.
Addressing the appeal, Dylan Thomas, of Bryantwood Road, said: “The only ones who benefit from the stadium are the owners of Arsenal – everything that is done there is to make money.
“Every time there is a concert we have thousands of people milling around over the whole weekend, the underground is a no go area, there’s litter everywhere and people drinking in the streets.”
Mr Thomas said that more than 90 per cent of those living in Bryantwood Road had signed a petition against the appeal being granted, many of whom are avid Arsenal fans.
Speaking to the Gazette after the hearing, he said: “My kids are big fans and we’ve got season tickets at the club, you have to make a distinction between the football club and Arsenal PLC.
“If the owners need money to buy players, it shouldn’t be its neighbours who have to pay the price.”
Cllr John Gilbert also attended the appeal on Friday to speak on behalf of his Highbury East ward.
He said that those living in the ward already put up with a very full programme of fixtures due to Arsenal’s European and Emirates Cup commitments, as well as the three concerts already permitted.
“The additional concerts and the prospect of them being spread over three weekends, encroaches unacceptably on the short respite time that residents enjoy from events at the stadium outside the football season,” said Cllr Gilbert.
A decision is expected to be reached when the appeal hearing ends on Thursday December 19.
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