Warning over ‘threat’ to Yiewsley rec
CAMPAIGNERS BELIEVE COVENANT SHOULD PREVENT COUNCIL FROM DEVELOPING LAND
YIEWSLEY residents have sent out a warning to Hillingdon Council that it cannot build on any part of their recreation ground because of a covenant dating back to 1927.
The covenant was drawn up on May 23, 1927 between the then Yiewsley Urban District Council and Middlesex County Council who agreed to help acquire the site.
The charter shows a sketch map of the park and states that the district council has purchased an 8.33-acre piece of land known as Rabbs Meadow subject to a covenant between the two.
It was promised by Yiewsley Urban District Council that “the whole of the said piece of land shall forthwith be dedicated and forever maintained as an open space for public use and recreation”.
It also states no buildings must ever be erected on the site unless the county council gives permission and that it could only do so if the buildings were associated with the park’s recreational use.
But Hillingdon Council leader Ray Puddifoot says he has been advised by lawyers that such covenants are all but worthless.
Members of the Yiewsley Park & Community Group, who successfully fought off a bid by Tesco to develop the park 20 years ago, say they noticed a “correction” in the council’s map which changes Yiewsley Park’s green chain status to Open Metropolitan land.
It also cuts out the park’s bowling green from the boundary outlined in the original covenant.
The group say this is a deliberate move by the council to “slice off” a chunk of the covenanted land it wants to build houses on.
These changes were made by the council in May 2018 as part of a series of alterations to its Local Plan Part 2 before it was submitted to the government for approval.
These plans form a planning strategy for the whole of the borough up to 2026, but the Yiewsley group claim many important last minute changes are not being shown to the public.
Campaigners issued a statement saying: “The Local Plan proposal appropriates public land including the bowling green, the path, the children’s playground, the basketball court, trees and green areas – all this will be no longer protected from development.
“We’re concerned especially as the Local Plan alterations add hundreds of new flats to our already oversubscribed housing levels.”
They say the Local Plan Part 2 will effectively reclassify Yiewsley from being suburban to urban.
Mr Puddifoot refused to rule out development on the bowling green saying that the council has a duty to find spaces where it can build new affordable homes.
He said the campaigners should wait until the full public examination into the Local Plan opens next week, as it will consider the detail of such sites.
He added that removing the leisure use from the bowling green site was justified as the council has plans to build a new gym and swimming pool at another site nearby so is fully committed to building community facilities.
Yiewsley Recreation ground plays host to the Yiewsley Carnival in 2014
Councillor Ray Puddofoot