Park Road Allotments Scheme Rejected

Campaigners celebrate as planning committee blocks development

The Park Road Allotments. Picture: Val Snewin


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Local groups campaigning to stop the building of a housing scheme are celebrating after the Council’s planning committee voted to reject it.

The application by Northumberland Estates to construct 80 homes on the three acre site was decisively defeated with twelve councillors on the committee voting against it, two abstaining and none in favour at the meeting this Thursday evening (14 October).

The committee has gone against the recommendation of the council’s planning officers who had reported that the development should be approved. They had argued that the harm caused by the scheme was outweighed by the benefit of the new housing some of which would be designated for key NHS workers at West Middlesex Hospital. Current allotment holders would have been given new plots at a smaller site.

The decision marks a major victory for campaigners who held protests outside Syon Park and marched to express their opposition.

The meeting heard speeches from local ward councillor Salman Shaheen, Councillor for Isleworth, members of the Park Road Allotment Association and The Isleworth Society who all argued against the proposal. They agreed that the loss of open space was not compensated for by the new housing or the financial benefit to the upkeep of Syon Park.

This was the second attempt by Northumberland Estates to redevelop the allotments and campaigners hope this and similar schemes will be abandoned.

Northumberland Estates Director Colin Barnes said, ‘The decision is extremely disappointing and a lost opportunity both to provide affordable homes and health workers with housing while retaining allotments. We will move on.”

Cllr Shaheen said, “I am overjoyed that my colleagues on Hounslow Council planning committee rightly threw out the Duke of Northumberland’s plans to bulldoze Park Road Allotments. They have voted to preserve a green paradise that has been worked by the people of Isleworth for over a century.

“I now call on the Duke to abandon his threats to evict the allotment holders. Let them stay. Let them work the land they love and treasure. If the Duke is a reasonable man, then he will not appeal the Council’s decision. He should lease the land back to allotment holders. Or better yet, sell it to the community, so that we can preserve it as a common treasury for another century to come.”

Plot holder Annie Aloysius said, “We understand how frustrating this is for the Estates but rather than just close the allotments, which is what they plan to do, we really hope to be able to work together to find a mutually acceptable solution so that we can continue to cultivate and grow. The allotments continue to teach me and my family the power of community and give me hope for a better greener future for all.”

Sue Casey, Chair of the Isleworth Society expressed their joy at the outcome, “We are delighted that the arguments of individuals and groups locally, regionally and nationally were listened to. The Isleworth Society is passionate about preserving the area’s local open spaces and we believe the councillors made the right decision.”

Green Party spokesman Anthony Agius said, "I am delighted that councillors have ignored their planning officer’s recommendation and rejected the Duke's damaging proposals to concrete over these allotments. This is a good day for the plot-holders who have campaigned together with our ward councillors, The Isleworth Society and the whole community to save this precious green space, next to the parish church and the historic riverside of Old Isleworth. The pandemic has shown us that people value local open spaces more than ever".

The planning reference is P/2020/4292. You can find further details of the application by visiting this page.

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October 15, 2021

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