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Islington residents clash with Arsenal over coach plans

Supporters buses 'not in keeping with the character of the area'

02 September, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

RESIDENTS living close to the Emirates stadium have called on Arsenal to encourage football fans to travel to games on bikes in a row over the number of coaches driving down local streets.

Arsenal has applied for planning permission to allow “at least 40” bus parking spaces in streets across the borough for home games, sparking outrage from residents who have complained about the environmental impact and anti-social behaviour.

Since the Premier League club moved from Highbury in 2006 it has been using temporary permissions to allow coaches to park in Queensland Road, Hornsey Road, Hornsey Street and the Sobell Centre.

There have been 20 objections to the plans to make these areas a permanent parking space for incoming coaches.

“Within a time of Climate Emergency, policies should be in place to reduce polluting diesel transport, not increasing,” one objection said.

Another added: “Arsenal should encourage its fans to use sustainable transport like bikes if public transport is not used” and these pans would make a “mockery of the Low Emission Zone.”

One Queensland Road complaint said that coaches were “not in keeping with the character of the area.”

Residents have also described football fans as “appallingly behaved: shouting, littering and publically urinating.”

The Gunners have also made an application to Haringey Council to hold 90 parking spaces in Finsbury Park for exceptional circumstances which Haringey has “confirmed in writing” according to the report.

Queensland Road is set to take 18 coaches, Hornsey Road will have up to 13, the Sobell Centre will take 12 and Hornsey Street will have to accommodate 11.

Tenants in Hornsey Street are concerned that the plans will have a “significant impact” on access to the local GP.

Council officers have recommended granting planning permission to the Gunners.

The application will be heard at the planning committee on Monday next week.

An Arsenal spokesman said: “We are working closely with Islington Council in order to provide safe coach parking facilities for supporters who are visiting Emirates Stadium on matchdays, while aiming to cause the least possible disruption to the local community.”

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