Dec 28 2012 By Zoe Drewett
Pinn Meadows protest
OPPONENTS of a second floodlit multi-sport pitch on Pinn Meadows got an unwanted Christmas present when plans for the scheme were submitted by Eastcote Hockey Club.
The application for the all-weather pitch was published on Hillingdon Council's planning webpage just before Christmas, re-igniting a battle that has been waged in fits and starts since 2010.
Now opposition to the project from people who live close to King's College Playing Fields, which form part of the meadows in Ruislip, is being drummed up by the campaign group Friends of Pinn Meadows (FOPM).
FOPM has now stepped up its battle since the application went online on December 20.
It is calling on people to sign a petition opposing the hockey club’s scheme, and this time asking people to sign a petition demanding the council to designate the proposed pitch site a ‘village green’, in order to protect if from any future development.
A previous application for the second pitch was submitted to the council in 2011, gaining more than 4,000 signatures in opposition.
Rob Cousins, FOPM chairman, has previously set out arguments agains the scheme.
“For 19 hours every week day this pitch will be unused, adding to the existing fenced pitch which is a complete eyesore.
“It will fence off the area that is currently used by the public. It will increase light and air pollution, it will only add to the traffic problems there and it’s obviously also going to have an impact on the wildlife that lives along the [River] Pinn corridor.”
The hockey club says that despite the proposed site being at risk of flooding from the River Pinn, the scheme would incorporate a drainage system.
It would also have more parking spaces, to ease traffic in King's College Road, which can be congested during match days.
The club hopes the new pitch would allow more sporting use for children and adult members, and encourage new members to join the Get Back Into Hockey club, which according to EHC president, Chris Clarke, has enjoyed a surge in numbers following the London Olympics with support from Sport England.
Mr Clarke, and deputy chairman Graham Pile, say for now there is insufficient space to accommodate the club’s home matches and training requirements, with half the club’s teams having to travel to other pitches for home games on Saturdays.
Mr Pile said: “We are a community club and we want the community to be able to use our pitches.”