Oct 29 2009 By Siba Matti
Harefield residents are delighted after planning permission was refused for nine three and four-bedroom homes on a Grade I listed nature conservation site.
More than 700 signed a petition opposing the development, on land west of Woodfield Terrace and Dovedale Close, Harefield, which is made up of dense woodland surrounded by the Green Belt, allotment gardens, a public footpath and the village conservation area.
The site's fate was sealed on Tuesday at a Hillingdon Council planning meeting, when the committee expressed concerns about destroying open land and access to the proposed development.
If successful, the developer had intended to create a new road leading from an existing private driveway between 69c and 69d, Dovedale Close.
But the committee, along with petitioners, said there would also be insufficient space for two-way traffic and for refuse vehicles to turn around, which would result in a 'people versus vehicles situation'.
They also said that, as the site is also on a steep slope, it could cause potential problems for elderly and disabled residents.
Melissa Loosemore, of Dovedale Close, attended the meeting to speak on behalf of the petitioners. She said it was important that the wildlife in the area was preserved: "The development would be at the bottom of my garden and the area surrounding it has a high population of bats, badgers, grass snakes and stag beetles.
"We are in a world of consumerism and greed and this is an opportunity to ensure this land is protected for future generations.
"The development also goes against government policies on sustainability and preservation of ecology."
After the result was announced, she added: "I am absolutely thrilled. The application was never suitable for the area and this shows that the voice of Harefield residents has been heard."
Members of Harefield Residents and Tenants Association, Harefield Village Conservation Panel and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust were also against the development.
Pauline Crawley, chair of the Harefield Residents and Tenants Association, said: "This is brilliant news although I was confident the application would be refused, because it was a completely inappropriate development.
"Obviously the Greenbelt and the wildlife needed to be protected, and that is a victory in itself, but the access to the site was totally unacceptable, and I'm glad the committee agreed."