|Nimbyism - or Plain Common Sense?|
Vicar of St Faith's church Rev Derath Durkin speaks out about Reynard Mills proposals
The proposed new development at Reynard Mills on the Windmill Road ( Ealing/ Brentford borders) has caused quite a stir!
Whilst I’m sure it is true that most of us would not like to see high rise blocks of flats in our back garden, it is simply not about that.
As a Christian church we have a duty to care for our community and those who live and work here; and that means “care for” in all its fullness, in addition to caring for the spiritual well being of those in our community, it means caring that there is adequate healthcare provision, it means caring that there is adequate schooling, it means caring that the sewerage system can cope the demands made upon it. Caring about the carbon footprint in our community.
This development, if it were allowed to go ahead, would, I believe have serious consequences for this community; in terms of healthcare, it can take a month currently to get a non-urgent appointment at Brentford’s only Health Centre.
All the local schools are full, Lionel School which is the school in catchment area of the development is already going 2 form entry, and will be at full capacity.
Our Victorian sewage system, is already overburdened, and is frequently subject to heavy flooding, I can remember about 5 years ago seeing cars almost submerged in heavy flood water. This can only get worse if there is significant new housing in the area.
Windmill Road already suffers from significant traffic flow and subsequent congestion, at many times of the day – and particularly at peak times. Local residents find it near to impossible to even cross the road at peak times, with only one crossing. One of my elderly parishioners has often said it has taken her over 25 minutes for a gap in the traffic in order for to cross the road, and one occasion a couple of months ago she was only able to cross due to the kindness of a passing motorist who not only stopped his car but also got out of the car to help her cross!
The road here is relatively narrow, with cars often parked on both sides in places causing mayhem to the traffic flow. This again will only be worsened if there is there is potentially an excess of an estimated 500+ extra vehicles entering and leaving this proposed development. Just this week traffic has been diverted from South Ealing Road into Windmill Road, causing major congestion.
Numerous accidents have occurred (some fatal) at the junction of Windmill and the Great West roads. Southbound vehicles wishing to leave Reynard Mills will have to wait for a gap in both the northbound and southbound traffic in Windmill Road, or risk moving out into the traffic causing congestion and possibly accidents.
A children’s day nursery meets in the church hall, as does a weekly mother and toddler group, they frequently struggle to get in and out due to heavy traffic, mums and dads are also walking with their children here, I fear for their safety and wellbeing if extra traffic milling in or out of the road which is adjacent to the church drive with little space between the access road of Reynard Mills and the church drive.
Children and parents alike enjoy the provision of the parks in our community, the high density on this site is highly inappropriate in terms of its distance from public open space due to both of its entrances facing onto Windmill Road. Young children and parents who wish to frequent our parks will need to circumvent a lengthy route along busy roads if they wish to use either Boston Manor or Blondin Parks – how can this be good for our community?
As a church we are committed to reducing our ecological footprint for the good of all, if this development were to go ahead the huge influx of new residents (which would increase the number of people to a disproportionate level in the community) can only substantially increase the community’s carbon footprint.
The area is in dire need of good family housing, which we would welcome, but of course that does not make as much profit as a larger multi-occupancy development, I can of course see that the developers want to make money and that in itself is no bad thing, nor is it a bad thing that the current owners want a good return on their land in order to give pension provision – but not at the expense of the well-being of those who currently live in our community.............
Reverend Derath Durkin
Team Vicar, Parish of Brentford. St Faith’s Church
22 December 2011