Campaigners are fighting Ealing Council over its decision to grant Queens Park Rangers Football Club planning permission to develop Warren Farm so that they can build their academy and training facility. They are fundraising for an appeal in the Court of Appeal against a High Court decision which they believe was clearly wrong. Marc Willers QC and Justine Compton of Garden Court Chambers are part of their legal team.
The campaign is a network of nearly 1,700 people who live in Hanwell, Southall and Ealing, wider West London and beyond.
The community claim:
We strongly believe that publicly-owned, accessible land should not be transferred to commercial organisations for largely private use and profit. Not only would QPR get the land rent-free for 200 years, but they would also make an estimated £4 million from being allowed to dump spoil there to 'level' the land.
Warren Farm was, until recently, a schools and clubs sports facility, and is now open land. Whatever happens, it should remain fully accessible to the public, including schools and community use, for future generations. It is not only protected Metropolitan Open Land - London's Green Belt - but also part of Ealing's own parks system, the Brent River Park.
Regardless of this protected status, Ealing Council approved a planning application for QPR in June 2016. Mr Justice Dove heard a judicial review (JR) of the decision in the High Court in February 2017. He ruled that the decision had been made correctly. However, our legal team (Marc Willers QC and Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law) had no hesitation in advising us to appeal the ruling to the Court of Appeal.
Marc Willers QC and Justine Compton are members of the Garden Court Chambers Environmental and Planning Law Team.