Petition opposing development of London's oldest allotments gains 1,000 signatures in a week

PRESS RELEASE

9th January 2017

Petition opposing development of London's oldest allotments gains 1,000 signatures in a week

 

A new petition opposing plans to build on part of London's oldest allotments has received more than 1,000 signatures during its first week.

Earlier this year, plotholders at Northfields Allotments on Northfield Avenue in Ealing were informed by their landlord, Pathways, that it intends to build on part of the site which dates back to 1832, making it London’s oldest surviving allotment.

The Pathways plans would see five percent of the allotments built on. The development would include 15 social housing units in a five or six storey building, as well as four townhouses to sell on the open market.

The petition went live on 31st December 2016 and has been set up by plotholders from Northfields Allotments who are campaigning to prevent any future development of the site.

Plotholders are particularly concerned about any further loss of green space since the original allotments were much larger, with land on both sides of Northfield Avenue. However, approximately thirty years ago the land to the west of Northfields Avenue was compulsorily purchased and built on.

Christina Fox, chairman of the Ealing Dean Allotment Society, said: 'The fact that more than one thousand people have already signed our petition is real evidence of the strength of feeling that exists against the Pathways plans which would see more of this historic site lost to housing.

"This isn’t a case of a handful of disgruntled plotholders. It is clear that the majority of local residents strongly oppose any further development of Northfields Allotments and the resultant loss of green space.

What’s more, it isn’t just those who live beside the allotments. We have been particularly heartened by the encouragement we have had from across Ealing, the wider West London area and the UK as a whole. We’ve received many messages of support from former Ealing residents and those with friends and family here who have fond memories or the site.

"We’d like to thank everybody who has signed the petition to date. We will continue to collect signatures over the coming months ahead of delivering the petition to Ealing's planning department once Pathways submit their application for the development, which we anticipate will be around May this year."

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Notes to editors

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

Ian Burge
07789 515 881
ian.burge@ealingdean.co.uk

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, approximately 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 over 70 people currently on the waiting list.