THE village of Harefield is preparing for the fight of its life as it prepares to save the Medi Parc- by registering it as a village green.
The new tactic would defeat developers in perpetuity, meaning no development could ever take place on the site.
Over 120 people attended a meeting on Monday night in the Park Lane Village Centre, in Park Lane, Harefield, furious at the loss of a community facility, which has now been fenced off, as developers Comer Homes attempt to restrict public access.
The story of a similar against the odds battle in nearby Croxley Green inspired residents, who were told how with a budget of just £8,000 they defeated London Underground in 2004 who spent £250,000 in legal fees attempting to build a spare track depot on a much love patch of woodland.
Pauline Crawley, chair of the Harefield Tenants and Residents Association, said: "This site had been empty for 20 years and nature had been able to take over. We want this land to remain as our own so lets fight for it."
To register a piece of land as a village green it must meet three key criteria, for the last 20 years it must have been possible to gain access, without force, without secrecy, and without having to gain permission.
It must also be shown that the land has been used for activities- such as dog walking, kite flying, and jogging.
All 122 people in attendance at the meeting last night were unanimous that the Medi Parc, which has populated deer, foxes, snakes, lizards, and dozens of rare plants, meets all the criteria and to register the site as a village green would be worthwhile.
It could well be the village's trump card to fight off the unwanted development, with residents being forced to sit back powerless as bulldozers savaged the wildlife on the site next to Old Park Woods for the last two months.
Barry Grant, from the Croxley Green Residents Association, explained how the fight could last up to four years, and be settled by way of a public inquiry, but their David versus Goliath experience proved the fight is winnable.
The forms must be submitted to the government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and they are available to pick up from Spar in the High Street and Londis in Moorhall Road, with as many residents urged to fill them in and complete them as possible.
Prospective MP Nick Hurd, warned that time was of the essence, as from his contact with Comer Homes he has established that they are working with architects with a view to submitting a planning application for 80 flats within months, which would further complicate the situation.