Feb 9 2010 By Dan Coombs
A DOG walker's paradise and wildlife haven has been bulldozed to make way for 80 apartments.
At the end of last week a peaceful afternoon was disturbed by bulldozers sending deer and foxes scattering from their homes at the Harefield Medi Parc, in Hill End Road.
The land has long been vacant, and wildlife has been able to thrive there untroubled for years, with it also being home to many rare plants.
The land is owned by Comer Homes, a development company who state on their website that they intend to build 80 apartments on the site.
The company do not at present have planning permission, and the bulldozers came completely out of the blue for residents who had no warning.
Roy Elphick, who lives in neighbouring Tanrey Cottages in Hill End Road, said: "Tsee the foxes run disorientated with confusion was heart breaking.
"My concern is that if any more work goes on, we will lose forever this natural environment to pass on to future generations."
The land is adjacent to the Old Park Woods, of which records date back to the Doomsday Book and is also near to Harefield Hospital.
Four foot high brambles and shrubbery which housed creatures including deer and newts have been absolutely destroyed, their only remnants being piles of wood which look set to be burned.
Christine Elphick said: "We went out as neighbours to confront the bulldozers but they just drove the other way."
Hillingdon Council's enforcement team paid a site visit and temporarily put a stop to the works, but have since confirmed to the Gazette that they believe the company are doing nothing wrong and were simply 'clearing vegetation'.
Peter Wane, who also lives in Tanrey Cottages, said: "There was Japanese Knotweed and rare examples of orchids in the Medi Parc, but they have been destroyed totally."
Mr Davis, who lives on Hill End Road, said: "Its a horror story, why do we want 80 apartments there, it should have stayed as it was.
"Hundreds of people use the land to walk their dogs on, its lovely, but now its been trashed."
Nicholas French, of Hill End Road, Harefield, got in touch with the Gazette via e-mail to say, "The level of destruction is insane, over ten years of growth and diversity leading to all kinds of animals, birds and plants has now been almost entirely swept away."
Comer Homes were contacted by the Gazette but failed to respond.
The developers, who describe their work as 'luxurious and high quality' also have plans to build 90 apartments at Harefield Grove, in Rickmansworth Road, next to Moor Park.
The Environmental Agency said they recommended residents get in touch with their local wildlife trust.
What do you think of the destruction? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org