Nov 20 2012

Whitchurch Playing Fields – Residents’ Concerns

In response to Harrow Council’s Press Release regarding Whitchurch Playing Fields, both ABCHURCH and CAPRA Residents’ Associations’ are sorely disappointed.

This process has been ill-thought out and poorly executed from the beginning. The abject failure to properly consult with local residents about the future of the fields directly contradicts the promises of the Council.

We would be delighted to see the fields developed for sport but we do not believe a licensed premises with late night opening and function hall contributes to a healthy lifestyle.

The complete lack of consultation is borne out by the fact that a local resident managed to get a petition against the proposal signed by 97% of people and that is just in the immediate vicinity. We strongly refute that local residents are in favour. Residents are concerned that there has been no consultation with the traffic department and taking into account the location of The Hive, this is a serious situation, which needs to be looked at before a final decision is made.

As these fields are a huge flood plain, this is a massive concern to residents, who have been flooded before. We have repeatedly asked for an Environment Agency Impact Report but have been denied this at every turn.

The Council have consistently refused to engage with local residents and bulldozed the plans through. As residents we would be delighted to see upgrading of the sports fields for the use of the local community, not with licensed premises.

As we have no alternative we presented to the Council, in line with the Commons Act 2006, that this land be declared a Registered Open Space.

To date, we have received no response to our application.

Michelle Stern and Stephen Lewis
(Co-chairs of Abchurch Residents Association)

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