Vow to fight as green belt threat returns
Warning comes as land at Home Farm and Hayes Park put up for sale
PRECIOUS green belt land in Hayes that was saved from developers five years ago is under threat again, an MP warned last week.
Hayes & Harlington MP, John McDonnell, convened a meeting at Charville Community Centre on Tuesday last week which was attended by 200 concerned residents.
At the meeting the Labour MP warned that Home Farm and land at Hayes Park, are on the market for £5.45million or could be sold in smaller lots. Hillingdon Council backed a previous campaign in 2011 to prevent the site being developed, but Mr McDonnell admitted “that’s not a given this time round”.
He added: “This is the second time in a decade we have been faced with a threat to our local parklands and green belt. We are determined to protect our local environment and not allow any more green belt land to be covered in concrete.”
Mr McDonnell, who organised the previous campaign, has brought together a team of volunteers to help fight this time around. He said: “We are calling upon the council to help us by preparing a detailed planning brief for the site in consultation with the local community so that we maximise the protection of the site. Our local councillor Beulah East was at the meeting and joined our campaign committee to fight to protect our local environment.”
The land stretches over 140 acres and is overlooked in part by residents of Hayes End Road.
Caroline Donnelly, who co-runs the Friends of Hayes End Facebook group, said: “The whole community is concerned about the consequences of the site being sold off, and falling into the hands of developers who are more concerned about making a profit than the local area and losing this lovely piece of green space. It was truly heartening to see so many people voice their support for fighting any attempt to develop the site. We’ve fought off similar attempts before, and now it’s time to show them what we – as a community – are made of once again.”
The land, which is on the market with Bidwells property consultants, is advertised as “offering residential, development, investment, equestrian and other leisure and amenity possibilities, subject to the usual consents”.
Ray Puddifoot, leader of Hillingdon Council, gave some assurance to residents that there are no planning applications “as far as he is aware”.
He said: “One of the reasons that I came into politics was because at the time parks and open spaces across Hillingdon were under threat of losing their green belt status for use as housing which was the policy of the administration in Hillingdon at the time.”