Press Release: London's oldest allotment faces development threat

PRESS RELEASE

9th September 2016

London's oldest allotment faces development threat

The oldest surviving allotment in London is facing the threat of being built on thanks to plans by its landlord to construct a new housing development on part of the allotment site. 

Last week plotholders at Northfields Allotments on Northfield Avenue in Ealing were informed by their landlord, Pathways, that it intends to build on an estimated ten per cent of the allotment site. Pathways plans to construct a mix of social and private housing, including a five or six storey building, and has opened consultations on the proposal.

The Pathways proposals have already met with a great deal of local opposition. Local councillors from Walpole ward, the electoral ward that includes the allotment site, have set up a petition against the development and Rupa Huq, local MP for Ealing Central and Acton, has also pledged her support.

The level of local opposition is testament to the positive impact that the Northfields Allotments have on the local community. Over 400 members of the public enjoyed the allotments at the recent open day in July and the site also provides a safe habitat for a vast range of plants, mammals, birds, amphibians and insects.

Christina Fox, chairman of the Ealing Dean Allotment Society, said: “We are all aware of the need for greater provision of social housing, but any development has to be balanced against the loss of green space as well as the impact on the wider community and local wildlife.

"The proposals from Pathways are currently under consultation however any reduction in green space in West Ealing would be met with genuine regret by the local community. What’s more, our plotholders include families, pensioners and those with disabilities, spanning a wide range of ages and nationalities. In many ways our community is a microcosm of London itself.

“We are currently conducting our own consultation with plotholders, local residents’ groups and other affected parties but it is already clear that local feeling is strongly against the proposed development.”

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Notes to editors

For further information and images of Northfields Allotments, please contact:

Ian Burge
07789 515 881
ianrburge@gmail.com

About Northfields Allotments

At almost two hundred years old, Northfields Allotments is London's oldest allotment site. It dates back to 1832, when the Bishop of London enclosed the site for use as allotments by the local community.

Pathways is the housing charity that currently holds the land in trust. The site is managed by the Ealing Dean Allotment Society (EDAS), which consists of allotment tenants.

The original Ealing Dean allotments were much larger, with land on both sides of Northfield Avenue. However, thirty years ago the land to the west of Northfields Avenue was compulsorily purchased and built on.

The Northfields Allotments site comprises the remaining 141 allotments on the eastern side which are fully rented, with 72 people currently on the waiting list.