Thousands of spectators could descend upon Moor Park if two cricket tournaments are allowed to be held later this month, despite concerns from residents that such sporting events are "inappropriate" for the area.
The application for a new premises licence to hold a 20/20 one-day cricket match and a four-day county cricket match at Merchant Taylors’ School between May 25 and May 29 was discussed at Three Rivers District Council offices today.
Residents living on the private estate objected to the application for reasons such as traffic, safety issues and noise pollution.
However, many of their concerns were stumped following a consultation with event organisers last week.
The application seeks to sell alcohol on Sunday, May 25 between 12.30pm and 6.30pm for the 20/20 match and to sell alcohol from Monday, May 26 to Thursday, May 29 from 11.30am to 6.30pm for the Middlesex County tournament.
Merchant Taylors’ School is the applicant for the license and will be working with Middlesex County Cricket Club to run the event.
Speaking for the application, the Sandy Lodge Road school’s lettings manager, Dan Fennell, said that organisers have tried to address the concerns from residents, including adjusting the alcohol sale times and negotiating on the sound level of music.
Mr Fennell said: "Eventually we want to make sure that we have long term benefit here. We want to ensure that we can run this event, so we are not looking at a one-off here. We’re looking at a way to make this acceptable to everyone in the long-term."
Councillor Terry Dos Ramos questioned the noise level and the effect on many of Moor Park’s residents, particularly the elderly.
David Beaney, chairman of Moor Park 1858 Limited, spoke on behalf of residents and said that, although many of their concerns surrounding the event have been settled, there is a strong feeling that the site is not suitable for a tournament of this scale.
He added: "This licence does raise the same issues as the Sri Lankan event, where I and many of our members fundamentally believe that the site is inappropriate for spectator events for up to 5,000 people because, despite efforts to mitigate these, there’s likely to be public nuisance."
Mr Beaney said he and other residents of Moor Park are hopeful that, with the appropriate conditions placed on the event, that it will be held in a "reasonable manner" and without causing a public nuisance.
Mr Beaney added: "I guess the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Last year there was public nuisance in the Sri Lankan event."
Earlier this week, permission was granted for the Sri Lankan Schools Cricket Festival to be held at the school in July.
However, there had to be a number of amendments to the application following resident objections to the amount of disturbance caused by the event last year.
Politicians have five working days to make on decision on whether to grant the licence.