Parks and Open Spaces includes not only matters concerning the town parks and formal gardens within the Association's membership area, but also footpaths and bridleways, and the provision and management of allotments.
This Section now incorporates our Woodlands pages.
A 'Proposed Submission Draft' of Part 2 of the Hillingdon Local Plan is to be published by the Council for public consultation over six weeks commencing in March 2014, prior to its formal submission to the Department of Communities and Local Government.
Among the Green Spaces implications of this document are changes to paragraphs on development in the Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and Green Chains, and plans to remove Green Chain designation from Eastcote House Gardens, Kings College Playing Fields and the Manor Farm site, and to re-designate these as Metropolitan Open Land.
There is reason for serious doubt that this will give enhanced protection to these and other sites proposed for re-designation. There is precedent from other London boroughs for retaining dual designation, and, in response to a recommendation from Friends of Pinn Meadow, Ruislip Residents' Association has agreed to support dual designation in its response to the forthcoming consultation.
The document also proposes that the sports field in Ruislip Manor currently used by Wealdstone FC should gain Green Chain designation – valuable protection for an open space in such a densely built up area. It also includes the designation of the area immediately alongside the River Pinn as it runs through King's College Playing Fields as a Nature Conservation Site of Metropolitan or Borough Grade 2 Importance – which is also excellent news.
There will be a meeting to discuss this project at King’s College Pavilion on 14 November at 7.30 pm
Further work is planned to ensure the safety of trees surrounding the Pond as soon as Council resources are available. The willow tree which fell in the Pond as a result of recent high winds will be dealt with as soon as possible, but priority is being given to other fallen trees that are causing obstructions or threatening property. The Gazette is running an on-line poll asking readers “Should local authorities spend more money on checking trees that might be at risk in high winds?”
MOL is defined as land that contributes to the physical structure of London by being clearly distinguishable from the built up area, and/or includes open air facilities, especially for leisure, recreation, sport, arts and cultural activities and tourism, which serve the whole or significant parts of London.
Council Officers have advised that this would reflect not only Council policy, but also that of the Greater London Authority, and was therefore more likely to impress Inspectors in the event of any rejected Planning Application for development on this area going to appeal.
RRA Chairman Joan Davis duly wrote to Hillingdon Council Head of Planning, James Rodger, objecting not only to the threatened loss of access to public open space and visual amenity, but highlighting that the scheme is contrary to Borough and London-wide green space policies.
She pointed out the detrimental impact the development would have on the ecology of the area, and how it would detract from enjoyment of the Celandine Route through Hillingdon & Harrow.· Joan pointed out that the Club's revised scheme failed to address residents' concerns over traffic and parking problems, and went no way at all to diminish increasing anxiety about flooding in this high risk area.·
The Club had not produced any convincing evidence to demonstrate the need for an extra pitch. Joan reminded Mr Rodger that when the Club moved from Cavendish playing fields "it was to take advantage of the larger number of grass pitches afforded on Pinn fields", but that, since that relocation, hockey has evolved to play exclusively on artificial pitches, for which the current site is entirely unsuitable.