Ealing council are giving away a free 200 year lease to one of our prime protected valuable pieces of real estate, for no financial consideration that could have been funnelled back to benefit the Borough and alleviate lack of funding for many vital projects. Saving the A&E at Ealing springs to mind.
It is vital that Ealing and broader authorities respect the future needs of an increasing local population to have access to open green spaces in London, and that Warren Farm is kept as an open space sports centre and natural resource for the community as a whole now; and for the next 200 years.
The Campaign moves up a gear, as fundraising takes off to support a much needed 2nd judicial review.
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We strongly request that Ealing Council respects this valued public open space and works with the community to identify funding to rejuvenate Warren Farm as a major sports ground for schools, both schools’ and adults’ sports associations, and the community at large, so that individuals and teams can compete and develop their sporting talents. Read More
We do not believe that the case has been made for “very special circumstances” to allow development of Metropolitan Open Land in line with the National Planning Policy Framework, and so are supporting the Juicial Review process. Read More
This is privatisation of public assets. A large area of green open space is being stolen from the public and given to an unaccountable big business.” “The council has a responsibility to achieve best value for its residents, both financially and in non-financial terms. The council has manifestly failed to do this on Warren Farm. The council has closed ranks with even the Audit Committee turning a blind eye to the giveaway.” Nic Ferriday of Brent River and Canal Society says: “Our green open spaces are a priceless community asset. But Ealing Council plans to take away from us this large area of supposedly protected land and give it to a private company. If this land goes, what next will the Council give away?
The Brent River & Canal Society fully supports the Judicial Review. We want to keep Warren Farm open to the public and to preserve the views, the trees and the wildlife that would be destroyed by the development.”
You might be aware that as the Opposition, we have "called-in" the decision twice for the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee to re-consider the matter. "I am sure an administration of a different colour would have constructed a different method to bring Warren Farm back to a high standard; but that is for electorate to decide next year.
As opposition Councillors we have been consistent and objective in that this is a poor deal for Ealing". Date 2013.
“I know the site well as I regularly exercise around there. It’s a great spot and you could be in the country. Clearly the site needs renovation, but not like this. The Opposition Conservatives have twice ‘called-in’ the decision for the Overview & Scrutiny Committee to look again at the decision. Unfortunately the Labour Councillors have rejected this and waived it through.
“As it stands this all round a bad deal for the people of Hanwell and Southall” .....
“The issues we have are
We do not believe that the council are obtaining the best value for the people of the borough
A lease of 200 years is far too long. Who knows whether Queens Park Rangers will still exist then.
Greater access to the site needs to be made available for the people of the area
The proposals are far too obtrusive and invasive
In a recent poll 63% believe Ealing council have no right to lease Warren Farm to a corporate entity for 200 years.
(Source Ealing Today Poll 2013)
I raised issues at the planning committee with the height and scale of the proposals. Warren Farm is part of the Brent River Park and is classified as Metropolitan Open Land which is London's equivalent of the Green Belt and should be protected from development except in very special circumstances.
“The council's own planning policy states that in MOL development should be small scale, with a height and scale sympathetic to its open surroundings. However, the council has given permission for a number of high buildings, the equivalent to five or six storey flats which will be very imposing when viewed from Hanwell.
“I also take issue with the length of the lease that the council have given to QPR - they have been given a 200 year lease for Warren Farm and one has to question how
“To date, campaigners to save Warren Farm have raised over £8,000
and collected over 800 signa-tures on their petition. I have made my own contribution to their fight by buying a copy of their book "A Walk on Warren Farm" which has some excellent photos of how it looks at the moment.
"On so many levels Ealing Council has failed the residents of this borough over the issue of Warren Farm. It is a sorry state of affairs that residents now feel obliged to take this matter to court against a council that is supposed to represent their interests."
John Croxen, Chair of CPRE London said: "Warren Farm is on Metropolitan Open Land which according to the London Plan has the same protection as Green Belt land. CPRE London are receiving increasing numbers of reports from across London about planning proposals on precious Green Belt and open land. It’s time to put a stop to this steady whittling away of protected land. Once it is lost we won't get it back. Warren Farm is used and valued by local people and Ealing Council should comply with national planning policy that calls for councils to 'plan positively to enhance the beneficial use of the Green Belt (para 81)' and further that 'The planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by protecting and enhancing valued landscapes' (para 109)."
of The Brent River
& Canal Society
Councillor David Millican
Conservative Group Leader
Councillor Nigel Bakhai,
LibDem (Elthorne Ward)
Ealing Civic Society
Ealing Green Party
When attempting to visit Warren Farm in the future (if the plans go ahead) you will be met by this 5m high earth
wall, derived from landfill matierial - required to facilitate the needs of the new Corporate tenant the other side.
A major concern is the obliteration of the unique open views and public access across protected Metropolitan Open Land to be replaced with a 5 mt (16.5 ft) high 'landfill" rubble wall, beside the length of Jubilee meadow, blocking access to and destroying a vital "green lung" that includes an area of SINC (significant interest of Nature and conservation) belonging to the Residents of Ealing, that will be lost forever, never to be freely enjoyed again. Destroying nature, and locking residents out - All access to the site will be under the control of QPR at costs yet to be determined.
Warren Farm is not a desolate forgotten area in need of regerneration,
Warren Farm and it's immediate surrounding area, is a destination for daily visitors, enjoying the Canal, the local pubs, the impressive Hanwell Flight Locks, and wandering across them up into Jubilee Meadows and on to Warren Farm. Similarly from the Windmill Lane, Norwood Green and Southall sides, many people commute daily accross the established footpaths on Warren farm to work. The area is cherished and visited by 1000’s of people each and every week, day in day out.
Campaigners agree, that investment is required to bring the buildings and changing facilities up to modern standards, and they have impressive plans on just how to do that.
Warren Farm is an area of extreme local importance. It represents a stunning example of London's biodiversity cherished by daily visitors. It offers the best drained pitches in the whole of the borough, remaining in use when all others tend to be waterlogged with games called off, in the winter months. With investment Ealing Council could be providing their own sporting provision for generations to come.
WARREN FARM CAMPAIGNERS HAVE ISSUED A SECOND JUDICIAL REVIEW - ON NEW LEGAL GROUNDS
This action has been forced onto the campaign, after QPR abandoned their first planning application to develop the land, despite having been granted permission by Ealing Council to go ahead with the scheme. QPR has now added certain new "additions" to the original application that residents were consulted on, which now include piling 180,000 cubic metres of unqualified "Landfill" rubble on to Warren Farm, which is classified as Metropolitan Open Land the equivalent of London Greenbelt land.
Campaigners have drawn upon the expertise of local solicitors DH Law Ltd and Mark Villers QC an expert in environmental and planning law.
They have challenged the decision on the grounds that Ealing Council have failed to follow strict legal tests that need to be considered when building on Metropolitan Open Land, which is that the benefits have to significantly outweigh the loss of the land.
Legal proceedings have been served both on Ealing Council and QPR and their response to the claim is awaited.
There is a strong and diverse local voice, across the Borough of Ealing, objecting to this deal and locals continue to sign a petition and generously donate to the on going legal fund.
No more free access - loss of views - Hanwell & Ealing Residents blocked out - ACT NOW sign the petition, donate to the legal fund and help us to help you and the community too - keep this space for residents of Ealing and future generations.
QPR will earn up to £3m to receive landfill material to build the wall that will block off and take away Open Metropolitan land - whilst enjoying the benefit of Warren farm for free for 200 years - good deal for Ealing?
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“We deplore the disposal of Metropolitan
Open Land for commercial use to the detriment of local
people. There are no benefits for the community who will
lose the use of up to two thirdsof the land at Warren Farm. The development, including an 8 foot high fence will be a barrier to informal recreation and is in general out of character. It will detract from the landscape and nature conservation in Brent River Park.
“We are very concerned that the disposal of open space has been carried out without complying with the process under section 123 Local Government Act 1972, whereby the disposal must be advertised and objections considered. This process is in addition to any planning application.Metropolitan Open Land should be protected for public use and we applaud Hanwell Community Forum for their action in challenging the decision of LB Ealing council."
A VISION: that does not include, despoiling the land with "Landfill" required to level off the land for the bespoke purposes of QPR - that will earn the new tenant circa £4million from receiving the material on the land. This is known as a 'muck away' scheme, whereby other sources pay the receiver to dispose of unwanted substance on their land - Creating an intolerable burden for local residents for a very small negligible gain.
A VISION that will not create 8 months of unnecessary unbareable impact, as trucks delivering the land fill arrive at the site - one every 4 minutes for 8 months requiring the use of dust suppressant sprays, to attempt to contain the detritus from drifting upon local residents, the infirm at Ealing Hospital, the adjacent food producing allotments, the stables and the vulnerable horses and Children and St Marks School. A scheme Ealing Council do not believe needs an independent Environmental assessment, even with vulnerable groups so close by.
A VISION: that does not include giving the land away for 200 years, with the rights to mortgage against the land and re-assign the lease without further permission from the Council.
A VISION: that does not fence of the land denying access to the Borough's residents, extinguishing established paths that are used daily to walk between Hanwell to Norwood Green and beyond.
A VISION: that builds on the £50,000 revenue for pitch fess that were received in the last year of operation as a community sports fields. Income that QPR will now receive.
A VISION: that would allow the inclusion of many sports, not a simplistic myopic focus on Football. A center that continues to include a variety of sports, that appeals to all sectors, Female and Male, the old and young, that regularly used Warren Farm....................CONT/d below...under landfill pictures.
A VISION: that would not need an out of Borough Ltd company to provide an unspecified community sports program, but one where the local coaches of local teams continue to train their own teams and utilise the site as they successfully did. 100% accessable space, not just for children who's parents can afford such elite football trainning but for all levels of sport.
A VISION: that would allow the APNA, local inter school championship to continue, along with other events, such as the Tamil Schools Sports Group, and continued participation from groups such as the Hanwell Rugby Club, Hanwell Cricket club, Hanwell air flyers. Who will all no longer be able to use the site within QPR’s plans for Warren Farm.
A VISION: that does not fence of the land denying access to the Borough's residents, extinguishing established footpaths that are used and required daily, to walk between Hanwell and Norwood Green and beyond, communting to work on foot.
A VISION: that allows all and any resident to continue to use the site for recreational purposes, walking, relaxing and nature watching.
A VISION: that allows for other activities, such as a gym, a destination café, more allotments, a bio-diversity and outdoor learning center for schools and children, and even a ‘Hacking Track” for the horses, with nature trails round the outside perimeters. A vision that ask residents what they would like to see as the future for Warren Farm.
A VISION: that does not include felling magnificent established trees, and destroying nature/wildlife habitat, with incessant noise pollution and extended light pollution from flood lit pitches untill late at night, and seen for miles.
A VISION: that keeps Warren Farm for the residents of Ealing. Awarded the status of an “Asset of Community Value” in perpetuity for 200 years and beyond. Not lost to the community for ever.
A VISION: where Ealing Council give regard to the wishes of their electorate, and work together to keep Warren Farm for the people of Ealing.
A VISION: That does not allow the borough's assests to be disposed of for nothing to a ltd company, where the detials of the 'deal' were conducted in secret in un-minuted meetings between QPR and Ealing Council. A company with a poor reputation for managing it’s own beleaguered affairs, currently floundering under financial insecurities and struggling with a £64million fine to pay due to their breach of the 'Fair Play' rules. In the last 2 years the club had made total losses of £135 million and is currently almost £200, million in debt.
A VISION: that keeps the land safetly in Ealing Council's guardianship on our behalf - where it can be protected, enjoyed and used for years to come. Not mortgaged, against or re-assigned to a 3rd unintended party to decide it's fate, with no further influence or permissions required from Ealing Council.
A VISION: where the residents of Ealing are consulted as to their vision and plans for the future of Warren Farm not only those of a corporate elite Ltd Company with no roots in the borough.
A VISION WHERE WARREN FARM REMAINS OPEN TO THE PEOPLE IT BELONGS TO - ANY DISPOSAL MAKES NO LOGICAL SANE SENSE.
SAVE WARREN FARM - as open space for nature, recreation and community sports
SAY NO - to this our largest open Metropolitan land in Ealing being given away for free for 200 years to a corporate company. Who will immedieately implement a "landfill" scheme earning them approx £4million from public land, that they will then fence the public out of, with no annual rental or real financial return.
SAY NO - to loss of sporting facilities for local Schools and minority groups.
Warren Farm (c) Alen Outen
SAVE WARREN FARM - DONATE NOW TO THE LEGAL FUND