Protecting the allotments

A new conservation area has been proposed that includes Northfields Allotments

Published on Wed, 08/03/2023 - 11:27

Ealing Council’s strategic planning team made the proposal after reviewing the borough’s conservation areas.

“Designation would help to preserve the allotments as an important community asset, amenity space and open space (linking with adjoining protected hedgerow) from threat of development,” it stated in an accompanying report.

"We treasure our allotment site and we love to share it with the local community," says Penny Wark, chair of Ealing Dean Allotments Society (EDAS).

"Our waiting list has grown six-fold over the last three years and our summer and Halloween open days bring pleasure to thousands of people. We are clearly a much-loved and needed asset for the Ealing community and we want this site to be here for future generations.”

The site donates surplus produce to local organisations and is an important resource in combating climate change.

The welcomed proposal follows a contradictory report that appeared to put the allotments under threat.

Earlier this year, Ealing Council released a draft of its Local Plan. This included a map which showed the allotments as part of a proposed Strategic Area for Regeneration and an Area of Intensification as well as an Opportunity Area.

"We don't understand how the draft Local Plan fits into Ealing's commitment to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030," Penny adds.

The draft Local Plan also proposes to remove Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) status from seven large green spaces in the borough. These include four private allotment sites in Acton: Bromyard Avenue, The Vale, Chestnuts and Perryn, and one Council site, Windmill Lane in Greenford. Removing MOL status will make these allotment sites vulnerable to development. The Bixley Fields allotments site is specifically included in an area identified for potential development.

EDAS has asked Ealing Council to honour its pledge to protect allotments.