A great increase in interest from developers to challenge RBKC planning policy in finding land for luxury housing poses a major threat to the green spaces in our neighbourhood, which are vital to the character of our Borough.
Whilst RBKC has a history of communal garden squares, maintained by residents, the backland sites on the St. Quintin Estates have remained in private ownership. One such site is a former tennis club located at Nursery Lane, W10, which was converted to agricultural use after the courts were destroyed during WW2. The land, filled with beautiful mature trees (including weeping willows), shelters a variety of wildlife and is a green oasis to the homes and Sheltered Housing that surround it.
The Oxford Gardens Conservation Area provides clear protection for these remaining backland sites and planning inspectors rejected proposed housing developments on the Nursery Lane land at appeals in 1972 and 1982. Residents have worked with the St. Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Forum to develop a Neighbourhood Plan
designating these backland sites as Local Green Space. A group of residents have also attempted to purchase the land to convert it into a communal garden consistent with its historical purpose.
We have been informed that the land has been purchased by a developer intending to build 21 luxury houses on it and fell nearly all of the trees causing irreparable harm to the character and biodiversity of the area. We urgently need the council to affirm the continuation of its planning policy for these backland sites and to support their designation as Local Green Space stopping such development attempts now and in the future.