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Anti-Heathrow campaigners evicted from garden commune at former derelict fly-tipping site

MP John McDonnell, who lent his support to the campaigners, described it as a 'great loss'

Grow Heathrow took over the derelict market garden, transforming it into an eco-friendly commune for anti-Heathrow campigners(Image: TMS)

Anti-Heathrow campaigners who have made their home in a disused market garden in the heart of Sipson have been given 14 days to leave their homes.

Grow Heathrow settled in the greenbelt fields in 2010, with around 25 people living on the five acre site, owned by a Guernsey-based company Lewdown Holdings.

In a High Court hearing on Thursday (June 29), Judge Marc Dight CBE granted Lewdown Holdings possession of the land and ordered the activists to leave in 14 days.

Among the people facing eviction are three children below the age of five and a teenager studying for their GCSEs.

Around 25 people are squatting at Grow Heathrow in Sipson

Over the last seven years Grow Heathrow has created a largely self-sufficient community on the site, growing much of their own food and using energy from renewable sources.

The group has cleared 'a hundred of tonnes' of rubbish that had been fly-tipped on the site before they had arrived.

Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell said: “This inspirational project has not only dramatically improved this derelict site but it has lifted the morale of the whole local community in the campaign against the third runway and in planning a sustainable future for our area.

"We need lawful spaces of protest with the values of education and community embedded in them; Grow Heathrow would be a great loss for my constituency in this crucial campaign year against Heathrow Airport's expansion."

John McDonnell MP supporting the Grow Heathrow demonstration outside Uxbridge County Court in 2015

One of the defendants, Ruth Raynor, said: “We are completely committed to continuing support for the local community. Airport expansion will make their homes uninhabitable.

"As care takers of this land we’ve cleared 100 tonnes rubbish, returning the land to an ecological habitat and community garden.

"We would like to continue a conversation with Lewdown Holdings outlining a community based educational project.”

Lewdown Holdings has applied for permission to build on the land on three occasions but has had applications rejected on each occasion.

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