A LAST ditch bid to prevent building on two greens in Heston looks set to fail on a legal technicality.
Residents of Brabazon estate had applied to have two patches of land recognised in law as village greens. They hoped the protected status would scupper council plans to build 48 new homes on the open spaces.
A public inquiry was held in April to consider the application but the report, obtained by the Chronicle, recommends refusal.
It states that residents were able to show, as required, that the land had been used for sports and pastimes for at least 20 years - despite the council arguing otherwise. However, the report crucially finds residents were unable to prove the council-owned land had been used 'as of right' rather than 'by right' - in other words, with the council's permission.
The final decision lies with councillors at next month's borough council meeting, but it is highly unlikely a Labour administration desperate for more housing will go against the report's recommendation.
Residents had presented a 417-signature petition opposing plans to build on the estate's green spaces.
They said the land had been used for community events and sports training over the years, and that providing adequate green space had been key to the estate's design in the early 50s. But the council pointed out that it had bought the land for housing from the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 1954 and maintained the green spaces for use by those living on the estate, meaning it was entitled to use it for more housing.
Plans for 58 new homes on three sites across the estate, including the two greens and derelict land behind shops in Brabazon Road, were approved in March last year.
All but 10 of those homes are planned for the greens on the north of the estate, between Brabazon Road and Cranford Lane, and to the east, between Brabazon and Johnson roads.
The proposed development is part of wider plans by Hounslow Homes and the council to build a total of 158 new homes across Heston to tackle the growing housing waiting list.