LEGAL ACTION IS UNDERWAY TO PROTECT
THE ENVIRONMENT & WARREN FARM.
BRINGING THE STRONGEST ARGUMENT YET
Against the backdrop of Climate Crisis, it has become more important than ever, that we stand up collectively and insist our Councils and leaders do not rest on empty words, but fulfill their promise to protect nature, our environment, and our very existence.
We need to create a clear strong message that we expect them to keep their word, and if they wont then we have no choice but to challenge planning decisions that are made without undertaking Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) as to their impacts.
THERE IS A NEW LEGAL ACTION UNDERWAY
Many of you will of course be familiar with the previous campaign “Save Warren Farm” team, who over the last few years fought valiantly against the planning decision that resulted in approval to dispose of Warren Farm to the developers.
Fast forward to today, and the world’s climate change imperative demands an entirely different attitude to protecting and enhancing open green spaces and the environment, and a new legal approach when addressing cases such as these.
WHO ARE HANWELL NATURE?
HANWELL NATURE have taken up the torch for Warren Farm, leading with a new environmental perspective, and we have begun legal action to protect Warren Farm from the ravages of development.
HANWELL NATURE started out as a group of concerned residents, who had observed the growing biodiversity flourishing at Warren Farm. It was clear we had to encourage Ealing Council to urgently respond to protect Warren Farm at a crisis point for climate change.
In collaboration with nationally recognised experts in their fields, we conducted many ecological surveys on the meadow, identifying rare species, some using reference material with assistance from The Kew Gardens Herbarium and the London Natural History Society.
The results clearly show, that there are many rare and protected species of plants and wildlife flourishing on Warren Farm.
This precious urban meadow, within the Brent River Park, is a haven for nature and is species-rich of high ecological importance to London and the UK.
We are opposed to the planning application granted by Ealing Council that rubber stamps the environmental destruction of biodiverse nature currently flourishing on Warren Farm, in order to make way for a VIP gated football training facility and car park. This is apparently necessary to meet the commercial requirements of QPR Football Club, a private limited company owned by billionaires.
In the last 6 years since Ealing Council ceased maintaining the land as short mown sports pitches, the developer attempted to meet various planning conditions, and planning permission was finally granted in Oct 2019. In that time, nature has done what it does best and totally rewilded the site into a precious urban meadow within the Brent River Park.
WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT
At a time of perilous climate change and the world’s attention firmly on creating solutions to protect our environment, Hanwell Nature began a passionate campaign to enlighten Ealing Council as to the many rare, endangered wildlife and vulnerable species that this inappropriate permission to build would entirely destroy.
Our 8 month campaign fell on deaf ears. See our Twitter and Instagram feeds @HanwellNature for the many pictures and tweets to Ealing Council and the Mayor of London asking them to reconsider this environmentally disastrous decision.
Left with no other choice, and armed with our legal team’s considered advice that Ealing Council have made an error in the way it has approved the planning application, Hanwell Nature have taken legal action to ensure there is a judicial review of the decision in the High Court.
Ealing Council has a duty to protect our open green spaces, and the environment that we all share. Therefore we need your help to make sure that happens.
WARREN FARM IS ONE SUCH CASE
On the one hand, Warren Farm is an award-winning 61acre (24.9 hectares – bigger than St James’s Park) meadow between Ealing and Southall. It is now home to an abundance of species such as skylarks, short-eared owls, foxes, hedgehogs, oak trees, rare clovers, beewolves, yarrow pugs and so many more.
Hanwell Nature’s ecological experts have assessed the land and we can prove it is home to a wealth of common, rare and endangered wildlife, insects and plants – some facing UK extinction. Warren Farm is part of the Brent River Park, an acid grassland UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) habitat, and is classified as Metropolitan open land, enjoyed by the public as a designated Community Open Space. Hanwell Nature now has evidence that proves Warren Farm should be reclassified as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR).
Whilst on the other hand, Ealing Council have made a decision to allow the destruction of this rare green asset without considering the drastic environmental impacts such a development would cause.
In other words, they have made an error in the way they approved the planning proposal.
This must and can be legally challenged through the process known as a Judicial Review, that would review the decision in the High Court and we need your help to do that.
LANDFILL AND CAR PARK vs NATURE AND CLEAN AIR.
You can read more about the deeply concerning environmental and social impacts on our blog page – impacts that arise from the proposed importation of 180,000 cubic tons of landfill on to the meadow in 1 truck movement every 4 minutes on and off site for up to a year, and the many devastating affects this will have on all the surrounding green spaces.
Destroying load by load the home of many creatures, flora and fauna permanently removing their existence, closing the land off permanently from open public access.
THIS IS NOT A GOOD DEAL FOR LONDONERS OR THE ENVIRONMENT
There are many more reasons why the development is not a good deal for residents of Ealing, London and the UK. You can read the full background why this is a bad deal on our blogs.
- The public would be expected to pay for limited and controlled access, but it would no longer be open access for everybody who enjoys the quiet restorative effects of walking and watching nature with their family and friends.
- There would be no yearly rental paid to the Council by QPR for the granted 200 year lease.
- It will be the developer who receives the revenue from the incoming landfill on the site. They will be paid per truck load, circa £4 million without one penny returning to the public purse.
By law, projects which are likely to have ‘significant environmental impact’ must undergo an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This ensures that both the public (those affected) and Ealing Council (the decision maker) are properly informed of the impact of a development. Allowing the public to be consulted and feedback their observations prior to Ealing Council making any decision on whether to grant consent or not for the development. In other words, the true environmental and social impacts of a development are established and published, with public consultation and weighed against any benefit the public might receive from such a development before any decision is made to allow such a loss.
That did not happen in this case.
Ealing Council made the decision not to require an EIA, regardless as to the obvious significant environmental impact from a 10 month landfill process that would result in a devastating loss of wildlife, biodiversity, and societal loss of access to such a cherished community open space.
WE HAVE TAKEN LEGAL ACTION - JOIN US
HANWELL NATURE continue to communicate daily with Ealing Council and the Mayor of London, as we have done daily for 8 months via our social media Twitter and Instagram channels (@HanwellNature). Daily ecological findings are tweeted, so they are fully aware of the current ecological status of Warren Farm.
However, in 8 months no response to our social media campaign has been received from Ealing Council or the Mayor of London.
They of course had the option when responding to our legal claim, to agree to an EIA or stand by their decision not to require one.
They choose the later, leaving us no other choice but to proceed to seek leave to begin a judicial review of that decision in the High Court.
To cover the costs to take it through to permission, we will need to raise £11,000 with a stretch target of £35,000 to fund the complete review process.
TIME LEFT TO RAISE THE LEGAL FUNDS
Since May 2019 Hanwell Nature has been funding the initial legal and campaign costs through donations from concerned residents, whilst the team and ecology experts have given their time, expertise and dedication for free.
We have come so far and strongly believe we have a high chance of success, and we feel we have a responsibility to the many people affected, who care deeply about this proposed tragedy for nature, both locally, across the UK and the world, at a time when climate crisis reminds us that we all live in one shared home and every green space matters.
We have taken the first step, and Hanwell Nature have lodged judicial review (JR) proceedings on the 11th December 2019. We are well prepared and are actively fundraising now - we did not want the developer suddenly to start work for example, therefore it was imperative that we lodged the JR application as soon as possible, and so we did.
WE HAVE LAUNCHED A CROWDJUSTICE PAGE
There are several stages to JR, the first has been covered by donations. However, as we all know civic justice does not come cheap, and so we have launched a Crowdjustice page to raise money to cover the legal fees involved. With the support of those like you who are passionate about the environment, we can together pledge to fund the Judicial Review.
Now that the environmental status of Warren Farm has organically changed to that of an urban Local Nature Reserve, many residents feel it urgently needs to be protected.
The time is now to protect Warren Farm from environmental vandalism – for UK wildlife and future generations to come. Join us.
We have untill the 12th February at 5.11pm to raise the amount. The clock is ticking – please pledge to donate now. Thank you
HELP SPREAD THE WORD
LET'S DO THIS TOGETHER
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join us in standing up for nature, for UK wildlife and future generations to come.
TOGETHER WE CAN PROTECT WHAT MATTERS TO US MOST
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You can find out more details on our Volunteers page.
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“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors we borrow it from our children”