Youth cen­tre comparison wrong

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - NAME AND EMAIL SUP­PLIED

MAY I please get my point across as lead pe­ti­tioner against not a youth cen­tre in Hare­field but the lo­ca­tion.

I have been on this cam­paign since a con­sul­ta­tion let­ter landed on my doorstep from Hilling­don Coun­cil in late De­cem­ber 2015 with the re­quest for my in­put to the lo­ca­tion of a youth cen­tre in the mid­dle of a hous­ing es­tate in Ash Grove, Hare­field.

The ob­jec­tions I pro­vided over five emails and three phone calls were never re­sponded to. How­ever, on con­tact­ing the project de­part­ment I was ad­vised, due to the num­ber of ob­jec­tions to the lo­ca­tion, the coun­cil will no longer com­ment.

I con­tacted Jean Palmer and was pro­vided with a stan­dard let­ter quot­ing the prop­er­ties that were ini­ti­tally con­tacted for a res­i­den­tial con­sul­ta­tion of which, to my puz­zle­ment, ad­vised more than 30 homes in the pre con­sul­ta­tion, yet my ad­dress of the orig­i­nal 14 homes ad­vised was not on her stan­dard let­ter. All those who wrote in from the Ash Grove res­i­dents who never got the let­ter, had the let­ter ap­pear on there doorstep in March 2016 with the ex­cuse ‘sorry, you never got a copy?’

We as res­i­dents were quoted by our ‘elected’ ward coun­cil­lor for Hare­field, as did the Coun­cil­lor at the Plan­ning Meet­ing, along with sev­eral let­ters writ­ten into the Gazette.

Can I please cor­rect this state­ment of a ‘new build’ in North­wood. The build­ing has stood as a young peo­ple’s cen­tre since 1911.

It was up­dated to a ‘state of the art cen­tre’ in 2014 by the Lon­don Bor­ough of Hilling­don, but my point is this is open once a week on a Thurs­day. So the res­i­dents of the res­i­den­tial road do get respite!

How­ever, the fight we at Ash Grove have been con­cerned over is this is a to­tally ‘new build’, the first of this in over 30 years.

The youth cen­tre will be open for bor­ough-wide us­age, to be open from 9am to 9.45pm 6.5 days in a week, with school hol­i­day cover, with the ca­pac­ity to be cov­er­ing 52 weeks a year. We have 30ft gardens be­hind our homes, al­ready over­stretched park­ing with emer­gency ve­hi­cles and HGV de­liv­ery lor­ries al­ready find­ing this a prob­lem.

So I do not think our sit­u­a­tion can be com­pared to the site in North­wood or any­where else in Lon­don. The traf­fic sit­u­a­tion is al­ready com­pared with the West Dray­ton Youth Cen­tre (next to West Dray­ton Po­lice Sta­tion) with no im­me­di­ate res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties back­ing onto this.

None of the Ash Grove res­i­dents are against a youth cen­tre, but we have asked for the planned lo­ca­tion to be looked at care­fully and with com­pas­sion on a small piece of land which di­rectly backs onto Ash Grove Houses.

We as res­i­dents at­tended the plan­ning meet­ing know­ing the Con­ser­va­tives had al­ready de­cided this was a done deal as our own ward coun­cil­lor ad­vised in Jan­uary 2016.

They passed the plan­ning by a vote. Where was any com­pas­sion to the res­i­dents? But for the record, I would like it noted they can­not com­pare this build­ing pro­posal to North­wood and should re­tract this state­ment.

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