Published and promoted by Martin Francis on behalf of Brent Green Party and its local council candidates c/o 23 Saltcroft Close, Wembley, HA9 9JJ

26 Nov 2009

People of Brent to Protect Wildlife of Welsh Harp

On Friday 20 November, Brent Green Party and Brent Friends of the Earth joined forces with local residents and Brent MP Sarah Teather to unveil a banner to "PROTECT WILD OPEN SPACES" and voice their outright opposition to the threat to wildlife from a proposed housing development on the Greenhouse garden centre at Welsh Harp.

Brent Greens and Brent Friends of the Earth have contacted many local residents and groupings united in their opposition to the plans to build 71 flats on the Brent side and another 90 flats on the Barnet side of the Greenhouse site. Local residents have submitted petitions to the Council on Friday 20 Nov, the deadline for receipt of planning objections to Brent Council.

Lora Rubner, spokesperson for Church View Residents' Association said: "I understand that people need housing but they must be in the right place not to ruin one of the most beautiful places in London. Local residents have been countersigning our petition in great numbers."

Shahrar Ali, Brent Green Party spokesperson for Environment and Planning and Chair of the Church View Residents' Association in Welsh Harp said: "Local people, campaign groups and politicians have signalled their determination to see this planning proposal kicked into the long grass. Instead we demand the preservation of our local grasslands which form an extraordinarily beautiful breathing space for the people of Brent. The local residents association has already lodged a petition with hundreds of residents opposed to the plans."

Kitty D'Costa of Brent Friends of the Earth, said: “The lives of Brent and Barnet residents are enriched by the Welsh Harp resevoir with its teeming insect, bird and wildllife. The Welsh Harp has been given many designations in order to protect the many species that live there. We oppose proposals to build 70 housing units on the Brent side of Welsh Harp and 91 housing units on the Barnet side. We believe that since the area that has been put forward for development is designated as Metropolitan Open Land, it should be classified as a conservation area, and therefore these planning applications should be rejected.”

Martin Francis, spokesperson for Brent School Without Walls said: "As an educator and environmentalist I am passionately committed to ensuring that children in the local area have access to the natural world. This involves direct experience via all the senses and has scientific, aesthetic and spiritual dimensions. The Welsh Harp offers such an experience and must be protected at all costs."

1. Photo by Jonathan Goldberg: Front left to right Shahrar Ali of Brent Greens, Kitty D'Costa of Brent Friends of the Earth and Sarah Teather MP forming a united front with members of the Church View Residents Association, Welsh Harp Conservationists and local RSPB at the entrance to the Welsh Harp nature reserve.

2. Brent Greens and Brent Friends of the Earth invited many representatives to the photocall including: Brent Liberal Democrats, Brent Schools without Walls,Church View Residents' Association, Federation of Residents' Associations Across Barnet (FORAB), Welsh Harp Conservation Group. We have received correspondence from others opposed to the plans, notably: Leader of the Conservative Group Welsh Harp Joint Consultative Committee, Welsh Harp Labour Action Team, RSPB.

3. Brent Greens have solicited an objection from the RSPB, who have given us permission to make it publicly available here.

4. To view the planning application see. Brent Green Party submission here.
Press coverage: Brent Times, 'Wading in the Reservoir Fight' (26 Nov 09)

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