More than 1,000 petitioners who want the council to put the brakes on a consultation which proposes plans to convert a farm and open space into housing have been left disappointed.
Campaigners launched the Friends of Pinner Park Farm group earlier this month in a bid to persuade Harrow Council not to sell off the land in George V Avenue, Pinner, which has been run as a farm by the O’Hara family for the last 10 years.
And now a separate group has made an online petition in the hope the Labour-run authority would extend the consultation deadline and offer a broader range of proposals than just the alternates presented in the brochure.
The deadline expired on Tuesday and those who have had their say could only express their desire for the farm to remain as it is by ticking ‘none of the above’.
The petition, signed by 1,630 people, read: “Converting the farmhouse and building new properties would change the character of the site forever.
“It is therefore important to consider a wide range of options before a final decision is taken regarding this historically important green belt land with listed buildings, that is also the last working farm in the borough.”
Nick Hurd, Conservative MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, wrote to the council backing the calls for a deadline extension.
He wrote: “Some believe that the buildings and land could and should be better looked after by a new tenant.
“Others have much more ambitious views on how the beautiful, open space could be best used for community value.
“What does seem to unite people though is a sense that the current consultation process is too fast and too limited in scope.
“It is a very emotive piece of land and a decision that may have significant long term consequences for the sense of place by residents.”
The council - which estimates the site needs at least £460,000 in upkeep works - said it wants to “provide greater public access to the 230 acres of land” and “create a viable new use to secure the future of the historic farm buildings located within the site, many of which have fallen into disrepair and require substantial investment”.
Both options involved the conversion of farm buildings to housing and therefore throwing into question the future of the tenant pastoral farmers.
A Harrow Council spokesman said: “We will not be extending the consultation period, but it is important to point out that this consultation is only the beginning of a process – there will be a formal consultation later in the year and plenty more opportunities for local people to have their say.
“In the meantime we will be going over in detail what residents have been saying to us so far, including other options that have been suggested.”