PART of a council-owned farm could be sold off for housing to raise enough money to open the remainder up to the public as new recreational land.
Public opinion of the future of Pinner Park Farm, in George V Avenue, Pinner, will be sought at three drop-in sessions arranged by Harrow Council for later this month.
The 230-acre site is currently rented out under an agricultural lease in perpetuity to pasture farmers Hall and Sons, which maintains a 90-head beef cattle herd and runs a civil engineering firm.
The site boasts a Grade II Listed farmhouse and other structures in disrepair with a maintenance backlog of at least £460,000 according to council finance documents from last year, not least because, the council's performance and finance scrutiny sub-committee was told in January, "there was work being conducted to bring the property back into council ownership", which suggests the authority is trying to buy out the lease.
Caroline Bruce, corporate director for environment and enterprise at Harrow Council, said: “It is important to stress that no plans have been set in stone – we simply want to hear from you about what you think would be a good idea.
“The council has a duty to invest in this well known site, and make sure everyone in the community is getting the best out of it.”
The farm is a Site of Nature Conservation Importance and archaeological priority area, and in 2011 English Heritage added Pinner Deer Park - part of the farm, which dates back to the 13th Century - to its Scheduled Monuments At Risk list.
In a statement, the council said: "The council commissioned property specialists Bidwells to come up with some ideas for the site, to bring the heritage buildings into viable use and to increase public access to the land.
"These initial ideas which include a country park and conversion of the buildings to residential use will be presented for feedback from the public during three exhibitions, on June 25, 26 and 27.
The council would like to make better use of the vast green space on the site and open more of it up to the public. There is a need for more green space in this part of the borough, which would increase opportunities for recreational activities and healthier lifestyles, as well as attracting wildlife.
"Representatives of the council will be on hand to discuss the proposals and there will be an opportunity to leave comments."
Pinner Park Farm was, back in 2006, mooted but eventually dismissed as a possible site for the Krishna-Avanti Primary School that was ultimately built on the William Ellis Playing Fields in Camrose Avenue, Edgware.
The exhibitions will take place at Harrow Arts Centre in Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, on Wednesday June 25 between 1pm and 5.30pm, Thursday June 26 from 1pm to 9pm and Friday June 27 between 1pm and 8pm.
n What do you think? E-mail email@example.com