PETITIONERS who opposed proposals for Harrow’s first campsite are “delighted” with the withdrawal of the scheme at the 11th hour.
Harrow Community Sports decided to pull its plans to build a caravan park at Broadfields Country Club in Headstone Lane, Harrow, on the eve of yesterday evening’s (Wednesday) meeting of Harrow Council’s planning committee.
Councillors were due to vote on the green belt scheme, with planning officers recommending members refuse permission.
Lead petitioner Georgia Weston, of Headstone Lane, said: “We are all obviously delighted and we will not therefore be presenting our petition to the committee. We were collecting signatures up until this week and have obtained almost 4,000 signatures to our petition opposing the planning application.
“This goes to show that when the community comes together to fight a common cause, we are a force to be reckoned with and can make a difference.
“I would like to express thanks to all those persons who committed their time and effort in the Save Broadfields campaign.”
The application had sought a change of use of 2.2hectares of land formerly used as playing fields to touring caravan and camping site with 75 pitches, along with the formation of accessways, construction of reception building and waste disposal point, and associated works and landscaping.
Sports England had strongly objected to the plans due to the loss and non-replacement of sports pitches – six for football in winter and four for cricket in summer – while the London Parks and Gardens Trust, the Hatch End Association, the London Green Belt Council, Harrow Football District and petitioners from the neighbouring supported housing scheme Parkfield House in Headstone Lane similarly urged the council to reject the scheme.
Planning officer Fergal O’Donnell recommended seven grounds for refusal in his report to the committee including the site’s impact on the green belt, the loss of playing fields, the unsuitability of the access points, the design of the outbuildings, the impact on bat habitats and on the Scheduled Ancient Monument of part of the neighbouring Pinner Park Farm deer park, and a lack of detail about mitigating any flood risk.
He wrote: “The openness, permanence and visual amenity of the green belt would be adversely affected by the development proposal in the short term, by the impacts on caravans, tents and motor homes on the site, and in the longer term, by the adverse effects on the landscaping of Broadfields.”
Harrow Community Sports may, of course, resubmit the same or a different application to redevelop the site at a later date.