LONDON, July 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The Save Warren Farm Campaign and Hanwell Community Forum enthusiastically welcome the news that the owners of QPR Football Club are considering pulling out of the deal with Ealing Council on Warren Farm community sports field.
This deal with Ealing Council would result in publicly-owned land worth an estimated £31.5M, yet valued by Ealing at a mere £1.8-2.25M, being handed over to a commercial organisation for 200 years, rent free.
Under the approved plans, two thirds of the land designated for community use would be given to QPR for their exclusive use. The Training and Academy buildings are not designed for sensitive Metropolitan Open Land and public green space, but would fit in well at Heathrow Airport. And the 61 acre site would be surrounded by an eight foot high opaque boundary fence.
Warren Farm is the best drained sports field in the Borough, where no community fixtures have had to be cancelled due to waterlogging over the last 10 winter sports seasons.
There is a strong and diverse local voice across the Borough of Ealing objecting to this deal, which would mean that there would no longer be sufficient room to host large sports tournaments, such as the APNA Primary Schools and the Tamil Sports Association Tournaments. In June 2013, 16 Primary Schools from Acton, Ealing, West Ealing, Hanwell, Northolt and Southall entered 34 teams into the APNA tournament which, that year, was won by St John's Primary School, West Ealing. St John's Primary School has no green space at all on their site.
Warren Farm is one of 15 local 'assets' for which residents are working towards submitting nominations to have designated as 'Assets of Community Value' under the Localism Act 2011. If successful, then the community would have the right to bid for Warren Farm. As part of the nomination process, an online petition was set up to generate the necessary 21 votes (required under the Act) for each of the 15 potential community assets. After an overwhelming response, within 24 hours the petition was taken down, as all 15 assets, including Warren Farm, had received well in excess of the necessary endorsement from the community. Accordingly, we will be applying for Warren Farm to be designated an 'Asset of Community Value' under the Localism Act.
The Save Warren Farm Campaign and Hanwell Community Forum commit to working with Ealing Council to identify grants and funding to build a 21st-century sports pavilion, with associated management plan, for considerably less than the £5.1M it is costing to refurbish Walpole Park. This could be achieved appropriately for Metropolitan Open Land along the lines of The Hub in Regents Park (http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park/sport-in-the-park-the-hub) to service the full 61 acres, across a broad range of outdoor sports and leisure activities, on behalf of the community.
Notes to the Editor
- Hanwell Community Forum is an alliance of residents' associations, traders' and business associations, environmental organisations, other interest groups and individuals who live and work in Hanwell, within the London Borough of Ealing.
- The Save Warren Farm petition can be signed at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-warren-farm-ealing-as-genuine-undeveloped-metro.html
- Donations to the Save Warren Farm campaign welcomed via the website at http://www.savewarrenfarm.com/#/donate-to-the-campaign/4578006033
SOURCE Save Warren Farm campaign