Hayes Park Green Belt: What’s at stake

OPINION: A lot of the opposition to the decision to sell-off Home Farm/Hayes Park has focused on the open space and luscious greenery local residents stand to lose if the site is developed on, rather than what they stand to gain.

While no planning permission has been sought (outline or otherwise) for the site so far, it’s fair to assume that – in light of rising property prices in the area –prospective buyers have been eyeing up the site for it residential development potential.

And, if that turns out to be the case, what local residents will almost certainly experience is a long, protracted period of chaos and congestion along the roads serving the site during the construction phase.

Pole Hill Road and Charville Lane, for example, are both well-used thoroughfares that become almost impassable at times already, thanks to the high throughput of traffic they already receive.

Add to the mix the procession of tipper trucks and JCBs a new residential development is likely to bring, and the result will be numerous traffic jams and fits of road rage, as travelling around the local area becomes nigh on impossible.

It’s also worth mentioning the damage a potential uptick in traffic volume would undoubtedly do to the surfaces of our roads, and – in turn – the vehicles that use them.

In the longer term, these potential traffic problems would most certainly worsen once any plans to develop the site are complete, and a new influx of residents move in, bringing more cars with them.

If the problems became too bad, it could prompt the council (and this is purely speculative now) to rethink the road system in the area, and take steps to increase the volume of traffic they could comfortably withstand, paving the way (no pun intended) for further construction work and disruption.

All of this together would completely change the look and feel of the area forever, transforming this once quiet corner of Hillingdon countryside into a concrete maze, heaving with traffic that spits out pollution into the once clean air.

Then there’s the impact a sudden influx of people would have on the rest of the area’s amenities. A new residential development would put additional pressure on the area’s schools, Hillingdon Hospital, our local GP surgeries, dentists, and more.

Admittedly, it is a pretty bleak picture we’ve painted here, and we make no apologies for that, because we fully appreciate how much Hayes Park means to residents and how losing it would irreversibly change the character of the area and damage the community forever.

The number of people who’ve contacted Friends of Hayes End to remark on how they moved to this part of the borough specifically because of the views, grew up running amok in the fields or spent their summers helping out a Dalton’s Farm, are a testament to that.

We’ve even had people who’ve long since moved out of the area get in touch, sharing their memories about watching the horses (that are still very much part of what makes Hayes End great) and their riders trot along the frosty lane on Christmas Day, offering to help fight the threat to Hayes Park and Home Farm in any way they can.

This area means so much to so many people, and we’ll be damned if we let it go without a fight. If that means more protests, so be it. If that means pasting more of the local area with posters, fine. If it means not losing what makes this such a great place to live, that’s what we’re going to do. Bring it on.

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