Posted: 21.07.21 at 11:46 by Dimitris Kouimtsidis
A PROTEST march has been organised to take place in Isleworth this Saturday, July 24, against the proposed Park Road Allotment plans.
Local residents, including councillors and members of the Isleworth Society and Allotment Holders will march from Shrewsbury Walk at 11:45am, through Syon Park and back to Lower Square in Old Isleworth for speeches at 12:50, to protest at the proposed plans to build on Park Road Allotment Gardens by the Northumberland Estates.
The three-acre site, which has been used for allotments for over a century, is threatened with being bulldozed to make way for seven blocks of flats, consisting of 80 properties.
Park Road Allotment Gardens has been designated an Asset of Community Value and is a haven for wildlife.
Prior to 2015, when the Northumberland Estates took back management of the site, Hounslow Council was responsible.
The 7th Duke of Northumberland had leased it to the Council in 1917 to enable soldiers returning from the First World War grow food which was in scarce supply.
During that time, the local community was regularly invited in for plant sales, educational trips and to work the community plots.
Councillor Salman Shaheen said: “The Park Road site has been a much valued open space even before 1917 when they became allotments.
“They have been designated an Asset of Community Value by Hounslow Council and we have seen over the course of the pandemic how invaluable they have been to local residents who have no garden and who have been able to escape with their family to the allotments for the good of their physical and mental health.
“Sites like this that provide a green lung in an urban environment must be protected.”
Sue Casey, Chair of The Isleworth Society which co-organised the march said: “The site is located just behind All Saints Church and in the Isleworth Riverside Conservation Area, and as well as being home to a range of wildlife, there are also several mature fruit trees that hark back to Isleworth’s Victorian heyday as a major market garden for the City of London.
“With so much of Isleworth’s past already having been destroyed, it is vital to save what is left, but more than that, the site is of value to the whole community providing much needed green, open space.”
Annie Aloysius, Secretary of the Park Road Allotments Association which helped organise the march said: “Park Road Allotments and Gardens should be for everyone in the community.
“I have been lucky enough to have a plot for over 10 years and my children have grown up there, understanding how food grows.
“I remember when the allotments were accessible to visitors at all times, and events were held to inspire, include and educate adults and children alike.
“If we can save the allotments from development this is how we see the future of the gardens - a complete and welcome return to a community open space.
“We need to convince the Duke of Northumberland that this is a better way to serve the community, as his grandfather did, than to act on greedy self- interest.”
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