Public Meeting in Hanwell Regarding the Proposed Development of Warren Farm

Viv Ellis wrote the following article for ‘Ealing Today’ regarding the recent public meeting in Hanwell:

‘Around fifty people attended a meeting in Hanwell this week (26th) over the proposed development of Warren Farm – Ealing’s largest sports ground.

The plans are to build an all-singing, all-dancing state-of-the-art training ground for Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club, a category 1 Football Training Academy which will also provide sports and leisure facilities for the community.

Facing a roomful of people ranging from excited QPR fans to sceptical Hanwell residents were spokesmen from Ealing Council and QPR.

One of the biggest concerns voiced was the apparent lack of consultation. People complained that although there are around 1200 homes in Hanwell within 700 metres of the development; only just 100 were consulted.

In the same vein, lots of people commented that Old Hanwell – especially the warren of tiny streets between Boston Road and the canal seemed to have been completely forgotten. It was pointed out that much was made in the planning documents about the ‘Dormers Wells’ side – but not enough about Hanwell. It was suggested that although over 620 consultation letters were sent out; 550 were sent to addresses in Southall and 111 to Hanwell.

Other issues raised ranged from increased traffic and noise in Hanwell, the possibility of paparazzi photographers stalking the area, the buildings being too big, floodlit pitches being too close to houses, the lack of public transport down to whether dog walkers and others will still be able to access the land unhindered.

After two hours of a lively and often noisy debate, lots of people were clearly far from happy. I heard plenty of “it’s a fait accompli” and “it’s a whitewash” remarks.

QPR’s ¬£30m proposal includes training facilities for the club, with a two-storey building, a three-storey multifunctional operations building, as well as three first-team pitches and seven academy/youth pitches.

But Malcolm Weller, an old Hanwell resident of 24 years, is far from impressed. “Neither Ealing Council nor Queen’s Park Rangers could identify a single benefit to the community that we don’t already have. Warren Farm already provides more and larger sports facilities to the community. QPR’s offering would be less than we already enjoy.”

This all started back in 2011 when Ealing Council invited tenders from organisations to develop the much-neglected Warren Farm site on a 200-year lease. The Council received five tenders of which QPR was the preferred option.

Ealing Council will make its decision in a month – though because of the Football Academy aspect, Boris Johnson as Mayor of London has the final say. Ealing residents still have a chance to have their say – through the Council’s website.’

Viv Ellis – Ealing Today

9 thoughts on “Public Meeting in Hanwell Regarding the Proposed Development of Warren Farm

  1. Hhhhmmm, lack of consultation… fait accompli… Very reminiscent of the whole Lower Loft situation.

    Don’t get me wrong. I want us to have a new training ground as much as the next fan. But I also think we need to be fair to the local community. Hope we aren’t trying to steamroller this through at all costs as happened with the loft eviction.

  2. Warren Farm is and has been a delapidated Sports facility for many years and amazingly been kept open to the public despite disgusting dressing rooms,shower and toilet facilities. Locals should embrace the upgrade.

  3. Good job they did not live at the early stages of the Industrial Revolution as we would still be living in mud huts! The NIMBY attitude is typical today and you will always find someone against any change no matter how beneficial it will be to the majority. I’m against demolishing old buildings for the sake of modernity but it sounds like they are getting 1000% better and should appreciate they are not paying for it (I assume).

  4. I was at the meeting and live very near Warren Farm. The site is awful right now and there are residents that welcome some investment and look forward to engaging with the Community Trust in the future.
    Here comes the BUT… there are real concerns over the scale and design of the buildings on green belt/metropolitan open land, (compared to Tottenham and other Academies the best that QPRs architects have come up with is a white warehouse standing out on the horizon!). There are also concerns as to whether the right balance has been struck in terms of available playing facilities for the community (gone from 6 cricket pitches down to 3 and from over 16 football pitches to just 8 U15 size pitches).

    I’m not a QPR fan, but if I were, I wouldn’t be particularly proud of the design having looked at Tottenhams Academy . Surely TF can do better and provide a cutting-edge design that the community and QPR fans could embrace together?

  5. There are no houses in Hanwell anywhere near Warren Farm.
    I used to play there often, and only half the pitches were used at any one time.
    Probably a rogue Brentford follower.

  6. As a Hanwell resident and also a Rangers supporter I went along to the meeting along with friends of similar allegiance and residency – note the comment in the report between the ” excited QPR fans and the sceptical Hanwell residents ” – The opening comments from the floor expressed concerns regarding the access footpath from Trumpers Way to Windmill Lane running alongside the fence to Warren Farm playing fields ,the Planning Officer from Ealing said that this would not be affected. I think some dog walkers are in the habit of allowing their animals to get through the holes in the fence and stray onto the playing fields – toxocara anyone ? – Other genuine concerns were raised regarding security , noise and parking,

  7. Continuation

    I felt that both QPR and Ealing Council would take these concerns into account at the detailed planning stage . As has been said previously Warren Farm is run down and dilapidated , horses are grazing where the cricket nets used to be .It has to be remenbered that this isn`t costing Ealing Council anything , they will still be the freeholders on a 200 year lease and

    cricket nets used to be

    • The land where the horses graze is not owned by Ealing council, so they will continue to graze where cricket nets used to be!!

  8. Sorry keep pressing the wrong button
    Just to finalise QPR are planning to invest 30 million pounds to update a run down playing field which will benefit the local community and has not been mentioned a cycle path will also be built to the north of the playing fields along Windmill Lane , a very dangerous road.

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