Parks and open spaces

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.

The Council's Planning Policy Team Manager told the June Residents Planning Forum that the reason for the proposed changes to Green Chain designation was to bring this section of the Local Plan Part 2 more in line with Government policy, which was to weaken protection for green spaces.  He also maintained that a change in designation from Green Chain to Metropolitan Open Land was viewed as increased protection, although he appeared not to rule out dual designation.  A good deal will rest on residents persuading the Council to stick to its declared policy that sites such as Eastcote House, Manor Farm and Pinn Meadows should be given maximum protection from development.  Consultation is now scheduled to begin at the end of July.
Published on 03 July 2014

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.

Published on 11 March 2014

At its meeting on 23 January 2014 Hillingdon Council Cabinet declared the three flats above the Kings College Pavilion, Ruislip, surplus to requirements, and authorised the disposal of the flats, leasehold, subject to the 10 year Borough residency criteria, and on the basis of 80% of the market value as determined by an independent valuer with the discount percentage to be made available to subsequent purchasers in perpetuity.  It was stated that the sales were in line with Council policy to help local residents get a foot on the housing ladder.  Sale to private owners could clearly have implications for the character of this part of the Pinn Meadows amenity space.
Published on 11 February 2014

Hillingdon Council Cabinet Meeting on 23 January 2014 agreed the rent review for the Eastcote Hockey and Badminton Club, Kings College Road, Ruislip and approves the related sub-letting to the Ruislip Rangers Football Club.  Details of this significant development were withheld for commercial reasons.
Published on 11 February 2014

Locally based fitness trainer Becky Haggar has begun a campaign to restore the Running Track on King’s College Playing Fields to encourage more people of all ages to use it to help them keep in shape.  It should be noted that the initiative has the support of Friends of Pinn Meadows because the scheme does not entail any fences or floodlights and aims to benefit the whole community. 

There will be a meeting to discuss this project at King’s College Pavilion on 14 November at 7.30 pm
Published on 09 November 2013

On 5 October Friends of Pinn Meadows volunteers joined Countryside and Wildlife Officer Dragana Knezevic and Hillingdon Council Parks Officers to help out with clearing undergrowth and rubbish from around Manor Farm Pond as part of the RRA and Conservation Panel supported initiative to set up a regular maintenance programme for this feature.  Passing residents generally expressed their appreciation.  The eventual programme will be subject to further discussions.

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?”
Published on 09 November 2013

At their 24 October meeting Hillingdon Council Cabinet voted to begin a consultation process that could see the Manor Farm site and Eastcote House Gardens Pinn Meadows lose their Unitary Development Plan protection as an area that forms a link in a Green Chain and be re-designated as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL).  

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.
Published on 09 November 2013

When the Ruislip Residents' Association Executive Committee met on 2 January there was unanimous agreement that the Association should oppose Eastcote Hockey Club's latest Planning Application to construct a second artificial grass specialist hockey pitch, with associated tall fences and floodlights, on King's College Playing Fields.·

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.
Published on 16 January 2013
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