Highbury residents rejoice as Islington Council stop the music
PUBLISHED: 06:53 25 July 2013
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Arsenal’s plan to stage more big name concerts – which have brought the likes of Muse, Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen to their Emirates stadium – were scuppered by Islington Council on Tuesday.
The club wanted to double the number of gigs hosted at their ground between football seasons – like last month’s Green Day gig which attracted 60,000 music fans – from three a year to six from 2014.
But people in the area are furious about the added disruption to their lives, including noise levels and mess, and more than 200 residents signed a petition opposing the increase.
Now the town hall planning committee has blocked the move.
Cllr James Murray, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, said he was “pleased to see the application has been refused” amid concerns about “noise, the number of Sunday events the club wanted to stage and the impact on people’s quality of life”.
Highbury councillor John Gilbert said: “I am absolutely delighted the council has refused it, and particularly pleased they have done so on the grounds of noise, which is the issue that we identified and campaigned on.”
Meanwhile councillor Theresa Debono, who lives close to the ground, said: “Naturally we are really pleased with this decision: we have opposed from day one. It’s the noise, you can hear it in your garden. And then there are all the people milling about at night, drinking and weeing in people’s gardens, which is totally unacceptable.
“Its great news. It’s exactly what we wanted to hear.”
Thomas Cooper, who lives in Ronalds Road, close to the Emirates Stadium, said: “I am glad people in the corridors of power have for once listened to the electorate. Who knows for how long the waters will be held back, but for now we are grateful.”
A club spokesman said: “This is disappointing news. We have made real improvements in the way the concerts are managed and there were very few complaints following the recent three concerts held at Emirates Stadium.
‘‘We strongly believe the additional concerts would have delivered significant economic and cultural benefits to the borough and have therefore lodged an appeal of the council’s decision with the Secretary of State.”
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