NEIGHBOURS fighting a development which they say would harm a nature reserve have received a boost from TV environmentalist David Bellamy OBE.

The botanist and author’s signature has joined more than 1,200 others in a petition opposing the construction of one eight storey and one six-storey tower blocks in Colonial Drive, on the border of South Acton and Chiswick.

It is feared the buildings would loom over the Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve, an oasis of greenery run by the London Wildlife Trust and a team of local residents.

Mr Bellamy said he was ‘extremely concerned’ by the proposals. He joined the fight by neighbours once before, in 1983, when supporters stopped previous owners British Rail from selling off the land for warehouses at a public inquiry.

He added: “The proposed development is far too big, too tall and too close to the boundary of the reserve.

“Many aspects of this proposal will have an extremely harmful impact on the flora and fauna of the Gunnersbury Triangle.”

They include light pollution, the noise from the new residents and their recreational use of the reserve.

His views echo those of residents.

Jan Hewlett secretary of the reserve’s steering committee and member of Hands Off Our Triangle (HOOT), said: ”At the moment you can wander in and be surrounded by flowers and trees and open sky and feel at peace.

“Many people feel that will be compromised with this development, that the character of the area will be changed.” The proposals include 124 new homes, 580 square metres of office space, 478 square metres of childcare space and 12 disabled parking spaces.

Blackstone, the developer, said the plans would create much-needed homes and business space, and the firm is willing to provide a warden, new signs and a security fence for the reserve.

A spokesman said: “We’ve worked hard with the London Wildlife Trust, the Greater London Authority, Ealing Council and Natural England to ensure the proposals are sensitive to and respect the local area
and Gunnersbury Triangle nature reserve. No part of the reserve would be lost and evidence submitted with the planning application and agreed with the trust demonstrates there would be no negative impact on protected species and wildlife and little or no light impact.”

He said the development would actually increase biodiversity through planting in the grounds and channelling water run off from it into the reserve.

Councillors will decide whether to approve the plans on May 16.

HOOT’s petition was handed to ward councillors on Saturday, April 28. It is urging residents to continue to sign an online petition at .