Apr 4 2012 By James Cracknell
Medi Parc a large open space full of nature has been closed off to the public in Harefield.
THE battle over the Medi Parc is ‘going the distance’.
Despite nine days of wrangling at Hillingdon Civic Centre, which finished on Friday last week, the inquiry is still to hear from several witnesses on behalf of developer Comer Homes.
Tina Wane, one of the campaigners, said: “Apparently most village green inquiries only last about three days. Both sides are fighting so hard and this one is going the distance.”
Mrs Wane said her team, made up of other campaigners and town planner Nigel Agg, had faced a gruelling task against the lawyers representing Comer. She said: “I’ve never done anything as hard as this in my life. We have had to learn all about the law. There’s people with jobs and children and we’ve all had to give up a lot of our free time.”
As well as helping to gather evidence, most of the campaigners have been called as witnesses and have received a grilling from their opposition.
But Mrs Wane said they have drawn strength from the steady turn-out in the public gallery each day. She added: “Some people have been coming every day which we think is wonderful, it really does help.”
The hearing, which will reconvene in May, will decide whether the Medi Parc should be classed as a village green, based on witness claims that they have been free to use the land for 20 years.
In the most recent exchanges, Comer Homes presented plans from the early 1990s that show there was a fence separating the Medi Parc from neighbouring woodland so people should not have been wandering on.
But many people have claimed that, despite the fence being marked on the plans, it was never built, and other fences had gaps in them.
The location of the May hearing is yet to be decided.
Comer owns the site in Hill End Road but, after they sent in bulldozers to clear it of undergrowth and trees in 2010, Harefield Tenants’ and Residents’ Association lodged an application to turn the land into a village green – saving it from any future development.
The association’s sub-committee Save The Medi Parc now have until April 28 to submit any more evidence for their case.