Uproar over Finsbury estate development

Hundreds of residents are in uproar over plans to demolish garages and rip up a new �150,000 football pitch to make way for more housing on their crowded estate.

The development of the Moreland Primary School site, in Goswell Road, Finsbury, which halved its intake last year, includes a new school and a possible 160 new homes in a densely populated part of the borough.

To make room, residents of the neighbouring King Square Estate may lose their garages and around 100 parking spaces.

The council proposals also include moving the football pitch – which was only created 18 months ago – into the school grounds, sparking fears local children will lose access.

Results of the council consultation, which finished on Friday, aren’t known, but more than 200 people signed a petition against the move.

Penny Seal, part of King Square tenants’ and residents’ association (TRA), said: “People are outraged by the whole thing. The pitch cost a lot of money less than two years ago, why move it to the school? What if kids from the estate can’t use it? We all know the school needs a revamp and we need social housing, but not at the expense of King Square.”

Liz Smithson, secretary of the TRA, said: “This pitch is so important to the local kids and helps keep them out of trouble. We will fight for it, and our parking, to the end – they are both very important to us.”

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Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of Islington Council’s opposition Lib Dem group, said: “I totally understand where the residents are coming from. Some of these ideas are mad – the area is one of the most populated parts of the borough and they’re going to build even more houses. And the football pitch was built less than two years ago.”

A spokesman for Islington Council said all responses to its consultation were being “carefully considered”. He added: “No decisions have been made. However, any development will include social housing, and making sure community facilities are kept and improved.”