Campaigners and the Friends of Lake Farm are challenging the Council’s decision to build on Lake Farm Country Park because the council has failed to follow the proper procedures laid down in legislation when considering the impact of building on the country park.
The council is required in law to undertake a full impact assessment including an equalities impact assessment. The Council has breached this procedure by failing to undertake this assessment. Local Labour Councillors and the Friends of Lake Farm took legal advice from Irwin Mitchell solicitors and consider that they have the grounds to challenge the council in the courts. Irwin Mitchell solicitors have been successful in the past in challenging Hillingdon Council for its failure to abide by procedure.
Local MP, John McDonnell, commented “Members of the local community have expressed their concerns from the outset that the Council has rushed through this decision without proper assessment and consultation. The council has appeared hell bent on forcing through building on our park and just hasn’t done its job properly of assessing the impact of this development. With all the supposed expertise in the council and the amount of council taxpayers’ money spent on consultants to drive this project through you would expect them to do the job properly but it is clearly not the case. I am urging the council to start again and undertake a proper assessment as it is legally obliged to do.”
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Peter Curling said “The council didn’t even bother to take the views and needs of the local community into account when they decided to pour concrete on Lake Farm Country Park, which is a much-loved local park within the green belt. The council claimed that there were no alternative sites but they could have easily made use of the old Hayes Pool site, which they have now sold off to a supermarket chain, as well as other brown field sites in the area. This has now led to a position whereby every piece of green open space is a potential building site. The local community need their day in court especially as the council won’t even consult with them”
In addition to the legal challenge a further demonstration took place on Saturday 2nd November. Residents, local councillors and John McDonnell MP are now fearful that the Council is planning to build on more of the park as it starts developing its plans for secondary school expansion. The demonstration was to call on the Council to halt the current building until the court case is heard and to stop any further attack by the council on the park.