Court Throws Out Warren Farm Campaigners' Legal Challenge

Judicial review over QPR's plans for training facility has been unsuccessful

Warren Farm in Ealing

After five years of campaigning to try and prevent Warren Farm being given to QPR to build a multi-million pound training facility it appears the fight is drawing to a close.

Ealing Council has been informed that a judicial review in relation to Warren Farm sports ground has been unsuccessful.

Campaigners 'Save Warren Farm' have been through the courts to try and prevent Ealing Council leasing 61 acres of publicly-owned community sports fields for 200 years at no rent to QPR - a privately owned company. 

The Court of Appeal rejected the application to review the council’s planning decision and confirmed that the council acted appropriately in granting QPR planning permission. 

QPR plan to invest millions of pounds into community facilities and a sports programme, which the council say will significantly improve local people’s access to sport. 

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of the council, said: "I am delighted with the judicial review decision and, with QPR set to invest millions of pounds into the community sports facilities, I’m confident we’ve secured the best deal for local people. 

"Once the site is up-and-running, QPR will implement a significant community sports development programme which focuses on encouraging local people, particularly young women, older people and people with disabilities, to get involved in sport. The club will also be responsible for on-going maintenance of the new facilities, with no cost to taxpayers or the council." 

QPR CEO Lee Hoos said: "A new training ground has always been at the forefront of our strategic planning for the Club. This decision is fantastic news and a massive step forward that finally gives us the pathway we need to see this priority through.

"The objectors have 28 days in which to file an appeal to the Supreme Court. The expiry of this will represent the final legal hurdle, which is significant news. We would like to place on record our gratitude to Ealing Council for their perseverance in this matter."

Candidates from the Green Party are disappointed by the news from the courts. Darren Moore, who will be standing to represent the Northfield ward said: "' Over the last 4 years, the Labour Ealing Council have systematically sold off, given away and eroded a significant amount of our green spaces in Ealing. Bits and pieces here, pockets there, and boundary changes on the edges all add up, but losing Warren Farm's 60 acres is a real blow to the community.

"Even worse, it's being given away to a multi-million-pound organisation which will use it for profit or may even have plans to link it up with the railway line and ultimately build homes on it. This means Ealing's dog walkers,  runners, wildlife lovers and walkers, our children and the precious nature that lives there will no longer have this space. 

''Ealing is famous for its green spaces and they've always been under immense pressure since they were placed in public hands but if we stop fighting to protect them then who knows what Ealing will become in 10 - 20 years time. You can't put a price on all the great spaces in Ealing that help our well-being, help counter pollution and provide a space to exercise in, and that's even truer with Ealing Council as they've simply given this one away for free. This has to stop. We dread to think what will be left in a further 4 years time.''


April 3, 2018