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Apr 01 2013

Reasons NOT to have a Caravan Site in Harrow

caravan_siteWhy should there NOT be a 75 pitch touring Caravan Park at Broadfields in Harrow?

The reasons cited are numerous but here are a few:

GREEN BELT AND HISTORICAL RELEVANCE
Broadfields and its surrounding area is part of the Green Belt. The site also contains a schedule historical monument. Building a caravan site would mean losing such areas of natural beauty.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
The area is also deemed to be an ecologically sensitive location, with a past history of protected wildlife.
There is an operational farm in the nearby facility which keeps cattle and other animals.

Litter from the site may also pollute the local environment.

The proposal will have a detrimental impact on the landscape and the natural habitat, on local wildlife, as well as disturbing grazing animals.

LOSS OF SPORTING FACILITIES
Building the park would cause the reduction in sporting facilities for the local community. Harrow has diminished its recreational facilities especially after the closure of Zoom leisure centre.

After the success of London 2012 and our government’s drive to encourage more young people to take part in sport, Harrow will be leaving behind our sporting legacy.

TRAFFIC
Traffic along Headstone Lane can become heavy all year round as it forms part of Harrow’s busy network of roadways. A width restriction now exists in Headstone Lane, a few hundred meters from the site entrance, to limit larger vehicles. This will present difficulties for vehicles towing caravans as there are very limited areas (if any) on the road which will accommodate turning vehicles.

ROADS
Headstone Lane has a sharp bend in the road by the Overground Station, which can be difficult and dangerous for large vehicles to manoeuvre. Busses also use this route (passing through every 20 – 30 minutes – Each Way). There have been numerous incidents of lorries becoming trapped on the bridge, attempting to take a right turn, having to pass down the wrong-side of the carriageway and causing serious traffic snarl-ups in the process.
Broadfields [Road] continually has cars parked on either side of the carriageway and this type can cause wider vehicles difficulty in passing through.

SCHOOLS AFFECTED
There are five schools in the vicinity of the local area:

– Hatch End High School (on Headstone Lane)
– St Teresa’s Primary and Nursery School (on Long Elmes)
– Pinner Park Infant and Nursery School and Pinner Park Junior School (on Headstone Lane)
– Hugs and Giggles Nursery (on Headstone Lane)
– Nower Hill High School (on George V Avenue)

Students and parents of these schools will be affected by the development of the park. During rush hour there is a marked increase in traffic which can tail back in some cases several hundred meters. Any additional vehicles using the area will increase the likely hood of accidents, particularly to pedestrians and children attending school.

Pinner Park School is expanding next year, increasing their intake of pupils which will already have an implication on traffic in the vicinity.

ELDERLY RESIDENTIAL HOME
A home for the elderly is located on Broadfields [Road] off Headstone Lane.
Despite the recent addition of a Traffic Refuge Island in the road (which is many meters from the front entrance of the train station) the elderly and those using Headstone Lane Overground Station continue to cross on the corner of the road (junction with Broadfields [Road]).
A caravan site would increase traffic in this area and further compromise the safety of the residents and those using the railway station.

SECURITY
A caravan site for holiday makers may lead to increased disturbances, including noise and light pollution.

The Caravan Pitches would run alongside the remaining sports facility. There does not seem to be any consideration made for the security of those who may wish to continue using the playing fields which remain. Those posing as legitimate caravanning holiday makers will have unfettered access to both children and adults using the clubs changing facilities and pitches and pavillion. In light of the rising concern in this county for the protection of the vulnerable in our society this oversight seems quite surprising certainly points to the unsuitability for such a site effectively within such a facility.

More people in the local area may affect Harrow’s reputation as the second safest borough of London. We are not suggesting that legitimate holiday makers are hooligans. However, there may be more opportunity for petty crimes to occur, with more ‘unknowns’ in the area.

POLICING
There seems to be a complete lack of provision for security and policing of the proposed Caravan Park. There is no mention of how this facility, should it gain approval, will operate and as such is a significant concern. The business named has no track record of running such a site. It is difficult to find among the paperwork provided any mention of security gates or entry guards.

Harrow Borough Police Service, with its latest cuts to policing (a loss has been announced for 17 Police Officer amongst this) does not have the means to take on the policing of an additional facility within the borough.

There is no explanation as to how the company will stop those wishing to use it not as a place to visit for a short holiday in their touring caravan, but as a cheap place to bed down whilst contracted to work in London Town. If the site does become a place of temporary residence for traveling builders (for example) etc. this will turn off genuine holiday makers to the area who will not wish to holiday in such a place.

FURTHER CHANGING THE USAGE OF THE LAND
There have been many people in the vicinity who have raised concerns that the caravan site is merely a foothold to secure a change in the usage of a land, to allow further development of more permanent accommodation. These fears have not been addressed by either the current owners of Broadfields Sports and Social Club or by Harrow Council, or in the documentation supporting the application.

There are further reasons that you may know of but these are some that have be raised by those who have shown a genuine concern in the change of designation from a playing fields into a caravan site.

Source (and more details): SaveBroadfields on Facebook

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