From: Friendsof Pinnerparkfarm [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 26 November 2014 14:58
Subject: Council’s proposals to go with ‘Option 1’
I have been interviewed by a Journalist from the local press who rang me to say that the Council will be making an announcement tomorrow (Thursday) that they will be going ahead with ‘Option 1’ for the farm.
They are selling it (the idea) as “A brand new public park for Harrow” and say that “these proposals remove inappropriate industrial units from this historic site”.
NB: Just to add to that that there is one (1) industrial unit and it’s had planning permission since (2006/2007).
I was stunned, I was angry and I was a bit overwhelmed with all the various emotions running around my head so I am not actually sure exactly what I said to the reporter. I was saying things like ‘nobody wants this’, ‘they are just pushing an agenda and it doesn’t matter what anyone says’ and I think ‘there are dark forces at work within the council’ was another. You may not be impressed with this response but I am only human and it came as a complete shock to me.
The reason for my extreme reaction to this news is really because I know this is utterly wrong. We have other associations in Harrow who have commented on the proposals, sending a strong message that they don’t think the consultation plans are a good idea. We have heard reports from people who attended the ‘consultation’ at the Harrow Arts Centre who say they felt they had been misled into thinking the farmers did not want to continue at the site. There has been submitted a comprehensive complaint against various aspects of the way the consultation was presented too. I have personally uncovered that documents, that were released as part of a Freedom of Information Request, contain inaccuracies within them and as such have probably mislead those who have read these in to a false sense of the actual history of the farm.
Something the reporter did say was that Cllr Keith Ferry (Portfolio Holder for Planning) had talked about building properties around the perimeter of the land in order to help fund the work that would be done in the area of the farm where the existing buildings are and that apparently you can do that sort of limited development on green belt land. This is, of course, all second hand information and so we would have to look into what exactly was meant by that.
I am going to end this communication here, until I am able to compose myself a bit and get my thinking together. We will need to work very hard over the next year in order to stop whoever it is that is driving these proposals through. I know from talking to so many people in the past six months that local people want farming to continue on that site but are also keen to see the site improved and be more accessible to our community e.g. Schools, and I for one am certainly not going to sit down and let them push through something that the people of Harrow neither asked for or indeed want!
Georgia Weston (Cllr)
The Friends of Pinner Park Farm
020 8428 2635 Cllr Georgi– a Weston