Court Rejects Latest Warren Farm Legal Challenge

Disappointment for campaigners in ongoing battle over Metroplitan Open Land

Warren Farm


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In the ongoing dispute in relation to Warren Farm sports ground, campaigners have had an application for a Judicial Review turned down.

Mr Justice Dove rejected calls for a legal investigation of the Council’s planning decision and confirmed that the council acted appropriately in granting Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club (QPR ) planning permission.

Ealing Council say QPR is investing millions of pounds into community facilities and a comprehensive community sports programme, which 'will significantly improve local people’s access to sport.' 

However, Campaigners, Save Warren Farm ( SWF) have objected to this development for which they say Ealing is granting a 200 year lease to QPR for a 'peppercorn rent'.

SWF say two thirds of the space will be for QPR’s exclusive use, within a secure site controlled by the football club. Entrance will be restricted and the community will be denied free access to 61 acres of open green space, part of Brent River Park.

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of the council, said: “We are pleased with the judicial review decision and, with QPR set to invest millions of pounds into the community sports facilities, I’m confident we’ve secured the best deal for local people.

“Once the site is up-and-running, QPR will implement a significant community sports development programme which focuses on encouraging local people, particularly young women, older people and people with disabilities, to get involved in sport. The club will also be responsible for on-going maintenance of the new facilities, with no cost to taxpayers or the council."

QPR CEO Lee Hoos, said: "This is positive news and another significant hurdle that we've overcome.  There is still some way to go but we are really pleased with the outcome of this verdict.

However Kristina Kenworthy, solicitor representing the community group Save Warren Farm ( SWF) said: '' "Development of Metropolitan Open Land, which this area is, requires the most stringent justification, and in our view Ealing came nowhere near to deciding the matter in favour of QPR in the correct way.

''The Courts so far may not have agreed, but it is a really important issue for the protection against inappropriate development throughout the country which has not been directly addressed, so the case may well go further, 

Malcolm Weller, of the Save Warren Farm Campaign team. ''Along with many people who know the facts about this planning application, we are hugely disappointed with the decision.  We have a vision where all of the land can be retained for community sports, recreation and leisure with sensible, realistic investment by the Council and partners, without having to lease away the land for 200 years to a privately-owned, commercial organisation at a peppercorn rent.''

SWF are now considering an application to the Court of Appeal.



March 10, 2017

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