Medi Parc protesters looking for answers
Residents’ association organise meeting focusing on latest proposal
VILLAGERS looking for answers on the latest Medi Parc application should attend a group’s next meeting.
The 20-acre once popular unofficial nature reserve, next to Harefield Hospital, in Hill End Road, is earmarked for development by care company Red and Yellow, which hopes to build a ‘village’ specialising in caring for people with dementia.
The plan, submitted to Hillingdon Council in August, is for a 405-home care centre with a health and wellbeing centre, a community restaurant, an arts therapy studio and an education centre, with around 400 car park spaces, 230 cycle park spaces and landscaping works, creating around 500 jobs.
The Medi Parc land is in the green belt and is a site of special scientific interest and Harefield Tenants’ and Residents’ Association (HTRA) argues it should not be developed and intends to fight the plan.
At its next monthly meeting, the HTRA has organised a representative from the council’s planning department to attend so villagers can ask questions about the proposed development.
HTRA secretary Wendy Rice-Morley said people are worried about the size.
She said: “It will be another village inside the current village, with still only one access road in and out of Harefield.”
In 2012, the group led a battle to stop the owner of the land, Comer Homes, building luxury flats by trying, ultimately unsuccessfully, to designate it as a village green.
Since then, Comer entered a deal with Red and Yellow for the dementia care village.
Despite the green belt designation, any land that has been developed in the past can also be considered ‘brownfield’, making it easier to secure planning approval since there are fewer restrictions.
Harefield Hospital built temporary hut wards on the land in the early 1900s, and Red and Yellow’s planners argue the site is therefore both brownfield and green belt.
In addition, council policy states the authority will support development at the Medi Parc site for any medically-related establishment.
Peter Dines, planning agent at Red and Yellow, said in 2013: “The council’s policy states that redevelopment for health purposes in the green belt area is acceptable in principle as long as key considerations are met around issues like parking and landscaping.”
The HTRA meeting about the Medi Parc plan will be at Park Lane Village Centre, attached to Harefield Library, in Park Lane, Harefield, on Monday, October 13 at 7.30pm.