DOG WALKERS and park users fear they have lost a vital piece of green for good which will be used to make way for essential parking.
Despite handing in a petition of 112 signatures at a planning committee last week, residents who regularly use Ravenor Park were told the extension of parking at Greenford Hall will go ahead.
The existing car park will eat into the adjacent green space beside Greenford Methodist Church to provide room for 66 extra vehicles during the long-awaited expansion of the Tesco store in Greenford Road.
But Barbara O'Shaughnessy leading the residents' campaign fears they will never get this vital grass area back.
The 70-year-old said: "I know the council have got problems and we won't have a new car park for up to three years. But once they tarmac it we won't get it back.
"It was park land left by Lord Ravenor to the residents of Greenford for recreational purposes.
"The park's changed so much, you can cycle there and there's lots of big dogs. This bit is fenced off and used by lots of smaller dogs, it keeps a happy medium in the park."
Council leader and ward councillor Julian Bell said a special material will be used to firm the grass instead of tarmac, so it can be reclaimed. He added that Tesco, not the council, would foot the bill.
He said: "Losing all that car park space we have got to provide some more car parking. A few dog walkers use it but it's fenced off and never used.
"When we discussed it at the ward forum nobody complained about using the area we decided to use. The only issue is about access and traffic on the Ruislip Road as cars are getting in and out of Greenford Hall."
Despite legal issues of right of way, a spokesman for Tesco said a final decision is expected in the next month for building work to start in spring.
When finished, the number of parking spaces will increase from 142 to 374 for both Tesco customers and other shoppers.
A spokesman said: "There was a need for a temporary car park which was being decided last week. It was an essential step because there will be a shortfall of parking during construction of the new store."