that have not even been considered that could transform Warren Farm as not only a sports facility but also an "Open" environment space for a greater diverse community.
There are many ideas that could adapt and keep pace with the needs of a growing population, providing varied sports for the community, that also address the vital need for open nautral space to relax and reflect in - now and through the next 200 years.
Giving this assett away to a corporate identity, in exchange for partial and limited sporting hours to the community, whilst fencing it off from the general public, is a short sighted response to the diverse requirements of the residents of Ealing.
"We're a diverse city, of nature as well as people. It's this mix that makes London special and we are determined to make sure we do everything we can to look after it"
Ealing already has many underused Sport Facilities, but few open undeveloped MOL open Spaces. Once lost it can NEVER be replaced.
A Better Vision for Warren Farm
Everyone trying to Save Warren Farm recognises the need to improve facilities at Warren Farm.
So what would a better Warren Farm look like?
It could be simply better facilities. It could be a centre of community activity and focus that draw people for regular activity and festivals bridging sport, cultural festivals and celebrations that only a space of the size and openness of Warren Farm can provide.
Kite festivals, model aircraft celebrations, baseball and rounders competitions, boomerang throwing, regular mass sporting events like 5KYourWay.
Beyond sport, it could be a wildlife haven, a small section could be put aside for a London Orchard. Learning for schools in outdoor environment. More Allotement space, a gym.
The ideas are limited only be imagination and a Council that’s prepared to be truly visionary, rather than cave to the demands of a corporate Elite Ltd Company demanding the land should be fenced off and residents of Ealing denied access.
What are the options?
We’ve looked at some of the options.
We like the creative, imaginative and award-winning design of the The Hub in Regent’s Park.
At a cost of £3.3mn it favours well to recent projects completed by Ealing Council ranging from £1.6mn, £2.2mn and £2.6mn.
According to information from David Morley Architect’s website, The Hub details states “Clusters of changing rooms are submerged in a mound consisting of building rubble from the previous pavilion. Above the changing rooms is a circular cafe that exploits the 360° views to surrounding pitches. 90% of the floor area of this building is underneath the earth mound, reducing the impact on the landscape visually. The mound is created from rubble of the previous building, reducing the amount of landfill considerably. It also provides the environmental benefit of thermal mass reducing heating and cooling requirements inside the building. A borehole will be employed to provide water for the building.”
Download the DMArch factsheet on The Hub.
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There are many projects that could greatly enhance and improve the community sporting facilities available at Warren Farm, whilst enhancing the open space for varied purposes along side sport. But most importantly projects that protect full access to the land for all the boroughs residents for 200 years and beyond.
Closing off and "gifting" Warren Farm to a corporate entity does not make any sense. This land belongs to the borough and Ealing Council need to work with its residents and Government schemes to create a facility that appeals across the board to all, not just providing a myopic focus on one sport that only appeals to a small minority, and requires the area to be fenced off and lost to the community at large.
New projects need to be identified, and given the full consultation a project of this scale deserves before entering into any agreement with any corporate identity.
Do you think Ealing Council should be allowed to dispose of Warren Farm loosing the variation of sports and community sporting hours currently available?
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A LACK OF VISION - ON EALING COUNCIL'S PART
Cllr Julian Bell, speaking at the Ealing Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting in August 2013, suggested that objectors to their proposals lacked vision. Ealing Council approval of the plans suggest that the organisation lacking vision is Ealing Council.
With regards design of facilities appropriate to the sensitivity and nature of the site, it should be said that the architectural design of the current Warren Farm proposal is appalling. There is nothing about it that suggests it will be maintained and treasured for a significant period into the proposed 200-year lease. Award winning global design practice Populous’s response to the design brief is more likely to be nominated for Building Design magazine’s the Carbuncle Cup than RIBA’s Stirling Prize
Other Trainning sites saw AFL Architects manage to submerge most of the building and incorporate a green roof in the Chelsea FC Training Academy Cobham which is part of green belt just outside south west London. KSS Group also managed a more sensitive response to the landscape with Tottenham Hotspur FC Training Centre on the 77 acre Bulls Cross site.
Suggested ideas mentioned above are not an indication of what is acceptable. They simple highlight how little Ealing Council has done to engage in the opportunities presented by Warren Farm.