|Campaigners Lose Court Battle Over Warren Farm|
But opposition to Council/QPR plans continues
Campaigners have lost their battle with Ealing Council over Warren Farm.
A judge has decided that the council has not acted unlawfully in leasing out the site to Queens Park Rangers for an elite training ground and rejected a judicial review.
Carolyn Brown, Chair of Hanwell Community Forum, who brought the case on behalf of the community said:
“The decision at today’s Hearing was deeply disappointing, although not at all surprising. On the surface of it, the Council appears to have done everything that they needed to do in the process. However, consulting residents in only one Ward, when the impact of the loss of these community playing fields will affect the whole Borough, and holding key meetings before and immediately after the Christmas period, and during the August holiday period, were all actions that helped to ensure that it was as difficult as possible for the Community to challenge the Council effectively.''
Nic Ferriday, Chair of Brent River and Canal Society who attended the Hearing said: “Our overriding objection is that our Council is giving away our land to be fenced off and used by a private business. A short term financial crisis, that we are now coming out of, is not an acceptable reason for effectively giving away publicly-owned green space for the equivalent of seven generations.”
Conservative Councillor Ian Potts, standing in Hanwell’s Elthorne Ward said,
''Having called in two decisions on Warren Farm for scrutiny, we have clearly demonstrated deep concern that the deal with QPR is not in the best interests of the Borough. Should we be elected on 22 May we undertake to review and try to reverse the agreement with QPR, and do our best to address the issues around Warren Farm which have been expressed on many, many doorsteps during the election campaign.”
Cllr Nigel Bakhai, standing for the LibDems in Elthorne said:
''This was a terrible decision by the Council and now it’s been rubber-stamped by the Courts. The residents of Hanwell have not been properly consulted, and the Council has to learn lessons from how badly they have run this process. The LibDems will do everything we can to stop this development going ahead.''
An Ealing council spokesperson said:
'' We are very pleased that a High Court judge has upheld the court’s original decision to reject an application for a judicial review of the council’s decision relating to Warren Farm sports ground. The judge rejected all claims against the council and confirmed that we acted appropriately in granting Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club (QPR FC) planning permission and a lease of the site.
''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. We look forward to seeing this project get off the ground so that people can start using it as quickly as possible.''
Elthorne ward candidates (pdf)
14th May 2014