Ealing residents have lodged papers in the High Court of Justice to Judicially Review Ealing Council’s decision to sign over 61 acres of London’s Green Belt, rent free for 200 years, to QPR football club for their new Training and Academy HQ. Campaigners allege that the decision is unlawful on several grounds including the enclosure of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and concerns about the impartiality of councillors handling both the decision to grant the rent-free lease and the planning permission.
The Save Warren Farm campaigners are trying to preserve the land in Brent River Park which has been used as playing fields for the Borough’s schools and local sports clubs for over 50 years. “To justify giving away this valuable green space, Ealing Council has valued the land at between £1.8-2.25M, equivalent to a single, large house in central Ealing, and only what we understand to be 6-7% of its true market value,” says Carolyn Brown, Chair of Hanwell Community Forum. The full press release is available here. “We oppose significant development on Metropolitan Open Land”, asserts Robert Gurd, Chair of Ealing Civic Society. “Instead of being sensitively designed to fit in with its surroundings the proposed buildings would jar like a very bulky warehouse in the countryside.”
The High Court has rejected calls for a Judicial Review but there is now to be an oral hearing on 24 June to ask that the decision be reconsidered.