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Accepting this project will set a borough wide precendent to give away and allow excessive development on Open spaces, that belongs to residents not corporate entities.
Warren Farm needs to remain open not only for competitive sport but for those that enjoy peaceful, recreational and quite access to the OPEN field at Warren Farm, not just for residents that indulge in sport, nor closed off and owned by a corporate identity.
Government policy for west London 5F.1 The strategic priorities for West London states the need to 1). "Improve the quality of the environment, particularly improving air quality and minimizing noise in and around Heathrow, and strengthening the provision of open space.
The Need for open spaces
“ It is one of the ironies of our urban life that some of the most valuable land has no buildings on it. Open space doesn’t just add value, it can create it. Using open space as a catalyst for regeneration and revival is broadly accepted but achieving great design and functionality requires both sophistication and creativity.
Cities need to understand what the space is for and how it will be used. Perhaps the most celebrated example recently is the Millennium Park in Chicago, which changed dramatically from the first concept as it became clear how important a role it could play within the community.”
– Jeremy Newsum, Chairman, Urban Land Institute and Executive Trustee, the Grosvenor Estate
Studies suggest that the evidence on the restorative effects of green spaces, and contact with nature, is more compelling than the evidence on the potential benefits for physical health. While it is well known that access to or views of open space can help to improve patient recovery times helping to improve care time at hospitals and the amount of medication that patients require, research has shown that individuals who have some nearby vegetation or live closer to open space seem to be more effective in managing major life issues, coping with poverty, and performing better in cognitive tasks.
Interestingly, in its report Ecotherapy, the mental health charity Mind identified that people who experience mental distress frequently used physical activity such as walking and gardening to reduce stress and vulnerability to depression. ‘Ecotherapy’ is the name given to the green agenda for mental health whereby people are engaged in green exercise activities as part of their treatment programme.
The report identifies that taking part in outdoor activities can help to develop motivation, raise self esteem and reduce isolation. Of particular relevance is a small-scale study evaluating the effects of walking or cycling in a group in a country park as opposed to walking or cycling in a group in an urban area. They found that walking and cycling in the different settings provoked different responses in terms of self-esteem and mood and that being near nature had a more positive effect. In fact, overall, ‘90 per cent of people who took part in Mind green exercise activities said that the combination of nature and exercise is most important in determining how they feel.’
There is also growing evidence that some behavioural or emotional problems in children, such as attention deficit disorder, can be improved by exposure to green space. Studies have shown that the quality of and access to public green space had a direct correlation on the severity of children’s ADD.
Meeting the “pyramid of human needs”
David Telford, Director at Hurleypalmerflatt and a practising environmental psychologist, strongly believes that open space has a human amenity value. He asserts
that open spaces have the capacity to meet a “pyramid of human needs.” This pyramid includes the need to feel comfortable, the need for leisure/exercise, the need
for social interaction, and the need for aesthetics. By meeting the “pyramid of human needs,” an open space has the capacity to indirectly transform an area as the
area’s residents are more motivated and economically productive.
" The public realm affects our humanity and our enjoyment of life. The totality of civic space is what matters,
not just a few good buildings. Everyone should be able to enjoy open, public space. It should be simple in
concept, so it can be used by everyone in different ways. One of the responsibilities of developers is that
we must remember that cities should be a series of places. Creating and maintaining good open spaces can
help to generate civic pride.”
– Sir Stuart Lipton, Deputy Chairman, Chelsfield Partners