Save Northfields Allotments

Project Category: OtherProject Tags: Children & young people, Gardening & Food Growing, Older People, Other, Parks & Open Spaces, Waste & Resources and Wildlife & Conservation

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  • Our Story

    Northfields Allotments in West Ealing is London’s oldest surviving allotment site. It now faces the threat of development from the housing charity Pathways, the site’s landlord. Pathways intends to construct a multi-storey social housing block and four townhouses for private sale on the allotments.

    Please help us preserve Ealing’s natural heritage and protect the allotments by rejecting any proposed development of the site.

    We desperately need to raise funds to pay for legal and specialist advice to help save our much loved allotments.

    If you can spare just a few pound we would be very grateful for your help and support.

    Why is this important?

    At almost two hundred years old, Northfields Allotments is London’s oldest allotment site. It dates back to 1832, when the Bishop of London enclosed the site for use as allotments by the local community.

    The original allotments were more than twice their current size, however over half of the site was compulsorily purchased and built on several decades ago. We now fear that we could be facing the loss of the remainder of the site.

    Northfields Allotments is an important heritage site and we believe it should be given the same protection as Ealing’s many parks and public open spaces.

    The importance of allotments in London is recognised at the highest levels. The Mayor of London’s London Plan clearly states that “Boroughs should protect existing allotments” (section 7.22).

    The benefits provided by allotments are widely acknowledged. A large and growing body of academic research makes clear the social, mental and physical wellbeing benefits provided by community green spaces. What’s more, the Public Health Agency has identified numerous benefits of allotments to the community, including the promotion of good mental health, physical activity and nutrition, as well as the encouragement of social interaction.

    At Northfields Allotments, we have 141 plots with 72 people on the waiting list so demand is high. 29 plotholders live in flats meaning their allotment is their only garden. We have many families on site, with the result that the allotments provide approximately 50 children with a safe place to play and learn about nature. We have over 25 retired plotholders who love the exercise, fresh air, and social aspect of being part of an allotment community.

    The allotments are an important habitat for hedgehogs, nesting birds and insects and house stag beetles, which are endangered and protected. Bats have been sighted as well.

    We recognise that housing is important, but so are green open spaces. It shouldn’t need to be a choice and we believe there are alternative options which would allow Pathways to house its residents while leaving this historic site untouched by development.

    Ealing is already extremely built up. Once green space has been built on, it is lost to the community forever. This is why we implore Ealing Council’s planning department and planning committee to protect the allotments from development, whether that be now or at any point in the future.

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    Northfield Avenue, Ealing, London.