Mar 17 2013

Whitchurch Playing Fields – independent inquiry perhaps not as independent as first thought

whitchurch_fields_22The Whitchurch Field development rumbles on. This was the development consultation that failed to impress Leader Idaikkadar almost a year ago, and which resulted in an application being made under section 15 of the Commons Act 2006 for it to be declared a village green, a process which can take years.

So, fast forward to March 2013, and the council announces that it is to hold an ‘Independent Inquiry’ – independent, that is, until you realise it would be held on their home turf at the Civic Centre. The independent chair, a Mr Morgan, could – and we stress that this is merely a possibility – be exposed to one side of the argument – the Council’s – ahead of the inquiry, not mention the difficult position it might put him in.

Representations have been made, lambasting this poor, and certainly one-sided decision, for it’s lack of neutrality.

To recap, this is the development which requires underwater rain-water storage to prevent flooding – some 600,000 square metres of capacity, which we’re told is equal to 24 swimming pools in size.

The Church, who were promised a number of free days each year of access to the fields have apparently also been told this’ll reduce to one day per year. The prospect for local resident is similar: with vague promises about access and reduced rates, once the council gives the area away, it effectively loses control of it.

No date yet on the inquiry; once we know more, residents will likely be invited to attend.


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  1. janepepper

    Anybody wishing to give evidence at the inquiry, to ensure that the playing fields remain owned by Harrow council, in order that our own residents can continue to use them can contact me at melanielewis4@hotmail.co.uk
    If you, or your football/cricket team have been promised free sessions or anything from the council if you support the development, then beware, you’ve been duped. Once the developers have the land Harrow Council will have NO say in who they let it out to. Additionally, it will put ALL of Harrow, parts of Edgware, Mill Hill and as far as Hendon into a higher risk flood zone and may render your home uninsurable. Harrow’s own Flood Risk Assessment states that the land is unsuitable for development.

  2. Christopher Langley

    What is this rubbish about 24 swimming pools! The Environment Agency will not allow building construction in a flood plain, whatever the council wants, so any building work will have to be outside the flood plain. Typical scaremongering by misinformed individuals.

  3. Harrow Resident

    Oh yes they can ! Just have a look at the Vaughan School expansion planning application. The school field and surrounding houses are on a 3b ( highest category) flood plain, yet they are proposing building on the school field. Apparently this is OK with the EA because they are raising the level of the new school by 31cm and lowering another part of the site (a part which already floods and will flood more) by a like amount – underneath it they are putting in a massive water tank.
    Is this safe? Is this a good idea? Will it cope with the additonal rainfall over the coming years ? Probably not, but who is going to stop this insane council from these ludicrous schemes and why aren’t the EA protecting us ?

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