There were celebrations last night as LB Hounslow’s planning committee voted overwhelmingly to reject plans to build 80 properties on the three acre site which is home to Park Road allotments in Isleworth.
‘Save the Park Road Allotments’ campaigners have been fighting a protracted battle to stop the Duke of Northumberland developing the site.
The land has been used as allotments for over 100 years after the 7th Duke of Northumberland, owner of Syon Park, leased it to Heston and Isleworth Urban District Council for the local community, including soldiers returning from the First World War, to grow food.
The land is now managed by Northumberland Estates on behalf of the current Duke, who also owns Alnwick Castle and 120,000 acres in Northumberland and the Albury Estate in Surrey. The Duke is one of a handul of aristocrats richer than the Queen, with a net worth estimated at £370 million.
This was the second time that plans submitted by the Duke had been rejected by the planning committee and the allotment campaigners hope that he will now admit defeat, rather than appeal the decision.
Councillor Salman Shaheen, Councillor for Isleworth, who has backed the campaign, 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.”
Annie Aloysius who has a plot on the site said:
“I am over the moon that the Planning Committee decided to maintain Hounslow as a borough that does not develop green open spaces and that the bullying and intimidation tactics from the Northumberland Estates were exposed and not tolerated.
“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.”
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