We are two groups of residents - GERA and CLAN - coming together to stop the massive development of private housing on council owned green space in Childs Hill, London.
We are local residents in north-west London who are joining forces to oppose a developer's plan to build 132 flats and houses for private housing on 9,000 square metres of green space on the Estate where we live - the equivalent of a premier league football pitch.
What we most object to is the way the developer has ignored local opinion and chosen to carve up publicly owned communal green space to provide private gardens for the houses they propose to sell, to maximise their own profit.
This estate is at the heart of Childs Hill, a small enclave in north-west London which was once a village like Hampstead and Highgate, and still retains some of its village-like characteristics (but not on the whole its super-rich residents!).
Childs Hill’s terraced cottages took in the washing for the wealthy neighbourhoods near by but Childs Hill has always remained a community for those who work hard and wish to continue to enjoy the green area around where they live! People who come to live here have tended to stay around, and send their children to the local primary schools. As a result, we have a strong community identity. We want to protect this community identity.
We won over our local Council at the planning application hearing and they refused the development on the grounds that it lacked the necessary amount of social housing and community facilities, but the developer has appealed and it now goes to public inquiry in June.
We are hoping to raise funds through the community so we can have the same level of legal representation as the developers at the appeal inquiry - giving David a better chance of stopping Goliath!
Our legal representatives think we have a case - the developers have ignored major sections of the agreed local plan for Barnet.
Why our case matters
We feel that we will provide something of a test case for residents similarly threatened by other unsuitable, divisive development schemes to promote large-scale private ownership on council-owned green space. After all, the council is supposed to be acting in the interests of all its residents, rather than profiteering financially from the housing boom by selling it off to developers. There is no way this development benefits the majority of cash-strapped Londoners, who definitely need more homes.
We are therefore not against some development on the site. We would all support the idea of housing on the edges on the site, ideally providing council housing as well as genuinely affordable homes for less well-off Londoners and/or turning some of it over to live/work units or self-build units, but this is not remotely what this developer has in mind.
How much are we raising and what is it for?
We need to raise £10,000 towards the legal fees for effective representation. We have been fortunate so far to have had the help of a friendly legal team preparing our case for the inquiry pro bono, but there is a limit to how much work they can afford to do for free and there is also a limit as to how successfully we can defend ourselves without their help. Hence our appeal for funds is so that we can be represented by Sarah Sackman of Francis Taylor Building and instruct Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law to represent us at the planning inquiry.
Please help us succeed.
About the claimant
We are two groups of residents - GERA (Granville Estate Residents Association) and CLAN (Crewys, Llanvanor and Nant Roads Resident Association) - coming together to stop the massive development of private housing on council-owned green space in Childs Hill, London.
*What's at stake?* The massive development of private housing on our council-owned green spaces. *The next steps* Obtain legal representation at the public inquiry with the help of our lawyers Sarah Sackman of Francis Taylor Building and Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law.
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Applying our resources so they can make the biggest difference?
Many, many thanks to everyone who backed our campaign so far. We are delighted to let you know that we have reached our base target of £5000 which will buy us essential legal help with our case for the forthcoming inquiry.
To ensure that we get all the legal help we need, we propose to increase our fund, if we can, by a further £5000, so please continue to donate whatever you can afford to. Our legal team will, we are sure, do their utmost to present the best possible case they can on our behalf against the proposed development, so the money will not be wasted.
Once again, we are hugely grateful to all of those who have supported us this far, and we thank in advance all those who propose to continue to support us.
We will keep you updated on our progress.
GERA and CLAN residents
We hit our first target!
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