|Warren Farm Decision - Fight Not Over|
Oral hearing granted to campaigners
Campaigners have been given another chance to fight plans to build on Warren Farm.
They've been granted an Oral Hearing to determine whether there is a need for a judicial review of Ealing Council's decision to allow QPR to build an elite training centre and academy on the open land.
Ealing Council say it will provide a base for the club’s training academy as well as give local people access to high-quality community and sports facilities.
However, campaigners have questioned the Council’s process and decision-making around the application for the development on 61 acres of publicly-owned land, designated Metropolitan Open Land and community open space.
Just under two weeks ago, the High Court rejected an application for a Judicial Review and the judge confirmed that the council acted appropriately and awarded QPR’s costs of £5,000 against Hanwell Community Forum.
Undeterred, campaigners sought an oral hearing which will take place on Tuesday 24 June at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand.
Carolyn Brown, Chair of Hanwell Community Forum, the group bringing the case on behalf of the Save Warren Farm Campaign, said:
''The Council intends to lease our land for 200 years, the equivalent of seven generations, at no rental income; QPR will take two thirds of the land for their own benefit, leaving the community with only a third of the land, no adult full size pitches, and insufficient smaller pitches to be able to run the major sports tournaments for schools and clubs which have been held there for the last 10+ years.
“In addition to this, the Council has disregarded national, London’s and their own planning policies enabling the development of buildings far too high, intrusive and poorly designed for open green space which, in theory, is protected from commercial developments such as this. And the previously open space, accessible to all at any time, would be enclosed within an 8 foot high opaque security fence with access to even the community areas controlled by QPR.
''Probably most shockingly, the Council has valued this land, all 61 acres of it, at £1.8-2.25M – the equivalent in value to a single large house in central Ealing. Questions have to be asked as to how this has been deemed acceptable.''
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of the council, said:
''The council has secured a fantastic deal for local people as QPR has pledged millions of pounds into developing community sporting facilities at Warren Farm, so to suggest we get nothing from this scheme is simply untrue. Not only will Warren Farm have some of the best community sporting facilities in London, they will be maintained and replaced at no cost to the public purse. QPR will also use its sporting expertise to run a comprehensive community sports programme to get even more local people playing sport, so it is a real pity that this legal action will delay works at the site for a further two months.
“I am confident that, for the second time, the high court will reject all claims made by Hanwell Community Forum and rule in the council’s favour.''
Campaigners say anyone can support the campaign by contributing to the fund for legal costs, and/or by signing the petition opposing this development, by going onto the website at www.savewarrenfarm.com.
31st March 2014