Letter sent to the leader of Uxbridge Council, Councillor Ray Puddifoot I WRITE further to the proposals to redevelop the Sens-Tech site (formerly EMI-Electron Tubes) in Bury Street, Ruislip, which lies in the conservation area.
What is currently proposed is a mixture of three- and four-bedroom houses, largely in terraces of three or four with just six pairs of semi-detached units on the Bury Street frontage.
At the rear of the site are two blocks of three-and-a-half-storey flats. The houses will be two-and-a-half, and possibly a full three storeys high. A half-storey means they will contain accommodation in a higher than normal pitched roof.
The current plans allow for a total of 94 units with a mixture of private and affordable dwellings.
The site was originally fields belonging to Mill Farm (now Mill House) containing barns. Henry Nelson Ewer, whose family had owned Mill Farm since 1589, used the barns for repairing and maintenance of farm machinery from 1906.
This site, together with the adjacent Manor Farm and St Martin's Parish Church, now forms the core of the conservation area. It is therefore a very sensitive site on which any redevelopment should be treated with considerable care.
An archaeological survey just over a year ago found medieval pottery, dated 1050-1150, postholes from an ancient building and the footings of one of the barns. Some Roman remains occurred in the backfill.
These finds suggest that the site was occupied at the time the motte and bailey castle was being erected at what is now Manor Farm, and continued into the period when the monks of Bec were established there. Further, more extensive excavations will be necessary if any development takes place.
In an ideal world, the site would be returned to open space attached to the greensward alongside the River Pinn. If a residential development is to take place then there is a strong case for a low level, low density scheme to be implemented. During the earlier years of the last century, a density of eight houses per acre was laid down for this part of Ruislip, whereas this proposal is at least two and a half times that figure, and with minimal parking.
The inevitable vehicle overspill will flood into the surrounding roads, inconveniencing residents, who will receive no benefit whatsoever from this development.
The character of the area and its immediate proximity to the Manor Farm site, on which £2.5million has recently been spent, demands a sensitive and appropriate project in keeping with the character of the area.
This means decent, well-designed houses with adequate parking, good-sized gardens, proper landscaping and an appreciation of the significant nature of the immediate area in the history of our borough.
Anything less will be seen as an abandonment of principles in favour of profit.
CLIVE PIGRAM Chairman, Ruislip Village