Campaigners Say Warren Farm Site Was Given Away to QPR

Open land "stolen from public" for development by football club

Campaigners in Ealing are accusing the local council of giving away the 60 acre Warren Farm site in Southall to Queens Park Rangers.

They say that on Tuesday October 22 Ealing Council signed away protected Open Land to the football club for a "peppercorn rent".

The Shepherd's Bush based football club plans to develop a £30million sports complex at the 60-acre Warren Farm site on Windmill Lane in Southall after being given the go ahead by Ealing Council.

Nic Ferriday, chairman of the Brent River & Canal Society, says: " This is privatisation of public assets. A large area of green open space is being stolen from the public and given to an unaccountable big business."

The council’s valuers, Kushman and Wakefield, have valued the land at £1.8 to £2.25 million pounds. But opponents - the Save Warren Farm group - say this is despite the planning permission which makes the land hugely valuable.

They estimate the land with planning permission to be worth in the region of £32.5m.

Ealing council claims there will be community benefits. Existing changing rooms have become derelict and QPR would build some new ones. QPR would also run at their expense the few remaining (sub-size) football pitches.

The council claims there will be around £8 million of community benefits, but campaigners say no details or guarantees have been seen.

Mr Ferriday adds: " The council has a responsibility to achieve best value for its residents, both financially and in non-financial terms. The council has manifestly failed to do this on Warren Farm. The council has closed ranks with even the Audit Committee turning a blind eye to the giveaway."

In June, Queens Park Rangers issued a statement saying it was aware of action being taken by campaigners in Ealing but said it remained committed to the project.

Despite the local opposition, Ealing Council is pressing ahead with the deal. The community is now planning to take Ealing council to court, by means of a Judicial Review. Pre Action Papers have been served on the council on Wednesday October 23 to challenge their decision to dispose of Warren Farm.

October 23, 2013