Feltham residents fury over council development plans

Feltham residents are fighting to save green belt land from a council’s warehouse development plans. 

Hounslow Council’s Local Plan proposes the development of an airport business park on 100 hundred football fields worth of green belt land in Bedfont Village, Feltham

The plans seek to develop an airport business park because of the need for additional industrial floorspace near Heathrow airport.

Insurance worker Clare Obeng, 48, who has been a resident of Bedfont for 17 years, started the Friends of Hatton Fields facebook group after discovering that many residents did not know about the plans. 

The land consists of Flights Stables and wild meadows which is home to a wide range of wildlife.

Photo Credit: Sue Chinery Flights Stables

Obeng said: “If you lose the stables you lose Bedfont.” 

She added: “I’ve lived here all of my adult life but there are people who have lived here for generations and some of them are saying it will never be the same, we’ll probably leave and then you lose the whole village community atmosphere.”

The local plan also seeks to promote walking and cycling in the area, however Obeng feels that if the land loses its green belt status residents will lose the green space that they walk and exercise in. 

Under national policy, exceptional circumstances are required to justify any alteration to green belt areas but the Green Belt Assessment has found that the site meets green belt purposes moderately but is capable of being released.

Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development at Hounslow Council, said: “We are committed to delivering regeneration across the borough, providing quality homes for residents, unlocking new job opportunities, and creating well-designed public spaces where communities can thrive.

“Hounslow was disproportionately affected by the pandemic, which saw the local economy contract by 11.3% in 2020 alone and thousands of residents furloughed or unemployed. Our plans in the west area of the borough will help revitalise our local economy – ensuring our residents and businesses can grow and flourish.

“The decision to release the green belt was not taken lightly and we are committed to making Hounslow even greener by making 45% of the borough’s infrastructure ‘green’.

“We have also been extensively consulting and engaging with residents on these development plans since 2016. The plans have adapted over the course of time and been amended, where appropriate, based on resident and other stakeholder feedback.”

“We understand some residents have concerns about this change and this week met with a group of local people to talk through the issues they have. This is part of our ambition to be a listening Council, that ensures we create future neighbourhoods and deliver services that work for everyone.”

Featured image credit: Clare Obeng

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