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Fight for Whitchurch Playing Fields, in Stanmore will go on says campaigner
The leader of a campaign to save a set of playing fields has vowed to continue her fight, despite having her application to turn them into a green rejected.
Last night Harrow Borough Council’s licensing panel turned down the application to make the Whitchuch playing fields in Wemborough Road, Stanmore, an official town green.
The application was made by Melanie Lewis as part of a long campaign to save the fields from being developed.
Last year, Harrow Council's previous Labour administration gave its backing to the Whitchurch Consortium's plans to build a new sports complex and leisure facility on the site.
Mrs Lewis said: “We are not surprised by the decision but this is absolutely not the end of our fight.
“We want the council to listen to the views of the residents and we will continue the campaign.
“We want to save a beautiful part of this green and pleasant land for all the people of the borough.
“This land should be for our children in Harrow, and not used by other sports groups coming from outside the area.
“Our children should be able to use the land whenever they want and as much as they want.”
“If these fields are put into the hands of any private developer then we will have lost something which is important to the whole community.”
The application was refused by the panel after an independent report found the applicant, Mrs Lewis, could not satisfy the criteria needed to award the area town green status.
After the panel’s decision, deputy council leader Cllr Barry Macleod-Cullinane said: “This issue has raised a number of public concerns which are all understandable.
"Our administration has endeavoured to ensure that the council correctly follows procedures when it comes to deciding the future of Whitchurch playing fields.
“Last night’s licensing panel was a significant stage in that process, and the council will now look at the available options and way forward for this piece of land.”
A council spokesman added the authority is talking to Education Funding Agency about future of the site.
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