Posted: 11.10.21 at 13:40 by Hannah Davenport
Campaigners have vowed to ‘fight on’ to save the 100-year-old Park Road Allotment site in Isleworth from development, ahead of a key planning meeting this Thursday.
Northumberland Estate proposed to build seven blocks of flats (80 new properties) on the site which currently holds 37 allotments.
The development plans were recommended for approval by Hounslow Council at a meeting last Wednesday, 6 October.
The ‘Save the Allotments’ group, comprising councillors, allotment holders and local residents, supported by the Isleworth Society, were ‘appalled’ that the planners had seen no legal reason that the development could not go ahead.
This was despite 1,000 letters of objection being made and nearly 3,000 petition signatories collected against the development proposal.
Councillor Salman Shaheen, Councillor for Isleworth on Hounslow Council said: “I have the utmost respect for the opinions of our Planning Officers but in this case, it is the over 1,000 objectors including allotment holders, residents, the three ward councillors and Shadow Minister for Planning, Ruth Cadbury MP, with the law firmly on their side, that councillors on the Planning Committee should listen to.
“If the Duke of Northumberland is allowed to bulldoze this green jewel in the heart of Isleworth it will be gone forever.”
Councillors will hear final views and take the decisive vote at a Planning Committee this Thursday, 14 October.
The proposal said it will re-provide 38 allotments which would account to 30% of the existing 11,700sq.m of allotments on site.
Campaigners expressed concern about the destruction of existing plots, trees and wildlife in the area.
Sophie Peel, local resident said: “I am lucky enough to quite often fall asleep at night listening to the owl hooting.
“That may be a common occurrence at Alnwick Castle where the Duke of Northumberland lives but it is not in urban London and I for one do not want to lose that.
“The destruction of the allotments and the arrival of more people, cars, pets and light that will come with the development will cause wildlife to leave the area as habitation disappears, contributing to the tragic loss of biodiversity in this country.”
The land is managed by The Northumberland Estates and is situated next to Syon House and Grounds, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, who has a net worth of £445million.
A spokesperson for The Northumberland Estate said: “The allotment site had become overgrown and neglected for some time and there is a well-recognised need for affordable housing in the area.
“If successful the scheme will create 32 socially rented homes alongside the 30 homes exclusively for key health workers at West Middlesex hospital.
“38 new allotment plots will also be created alongside new community facilities. All existing allotment holders have been offered a new plot and any unclaimed allotments will be awarded to local residents, with priority given to people who don’t currently have outdoor space.
“The allotment holders have been regularly updated throughout the entire process.”
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