Warn­ing over ‘threat’ to Yiewsley rec

CAMPAIGNERS BELIEVE COVENANT SHOULD PREVENT COUN­CIL FROM DEVELOPING LAND

Uxbridge Gazette - - News - By MARTIN ELVERY martin.elvery@reach­plc.com Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

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

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