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  • CarolineShah

Please help save green spaces in Kingston and across London

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

The end of the road? Park Road, Kingston - up for grabs for development?

Do not delay - Donate Now and save your neighbourhood before it is too late

Kingston council owns the allotment land pictured above at the end of Park Road

The council also owns the sadly hidden, unsignposted, and obviously long-neglected and weed-filled public land pictured below which could and should be a wonderful public amenity for the local community, sandwiched as it is between family homes in this residential, low-rise area and well-established neighbourhood that runs along the boundary of Richmond Park SAC in the Borough of Richmond. The land reaches across to the much-loved Barnfield stables and a nursery on Parkfields Close - previously a much-needed youth centre - and adjacent to some more allotments

Taken together this is a very large area of mainly open green space that is an important community and visual amenity that deserves enhancing and protecting for us, our children and future generations. We must insist that this land is protected from development. We must stop their plans now

Barnfield nursery backs on to the huge neglected field below

The only indication the land above is public land is a rather new-looking and semi-concealed "No Dumping" sign. It is interesting to note that the sign refers to a law for the protection of the environment

This open space and allotment land is opposite the old youth centre

These types of valuable green open spaces need protecting and enhancing for our communities as we face a significant lack of public natural green space in the Borough. If all Kingston's residents - a population that is planned to increase by 70% in just 22 years to 2041 - head for Richmond Park for our leisure activities, the park's vulnerable and protected habitats will not survive

However, the new London Plan designates Kingston as one of many areas for large scale growth across the city and removes residents' ability to protect existing green spaces from development

It is hardly surprising therefore that open land and green spaces along Park Road are likely to be being eyed up as land available for "growth" without consideration of people's need for easily accessible recreational and green space as the Borough's population soars

And the London Plan itself will dictate that the amenity value of local green space in our communities in future will only be assessed in terms of its presence in an "urban landscape" reflecting the watered-down requirement of the London Plan's open spaces policy

And then there is the scout hut, which - with its large field pictured below - is home to one of the oldest groups in the scouting movement, having opened its doors in 1908

The First Kingston Hill Scout Group - one of the oldest in England

The amazing field of the First Kingston Hill Scout Group on Park Road

I have heard from a number of sources that there are people in our community who have been exploring the possibility of developing this land

We have a duty to protect the scout hut and field for future generations of Kingston's children

We have a duty to protect existing green and open spaces in Kingston and across London for the mental and physical well-being of all of us and for nature's sake

This means that we must fight tooth and nail to protect existing green spaces, in public and private ownership, from development and stop Park Road and similar places all over our capital city from becoming a developer's dream and residents' nightmare

Do not delay - please donate now so we can ask The Mayor of London to reconsider his highly-flawed plan for London

We must see this through to the end. As John Lennon is quoted as saying:

"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end"

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