As a lifelong resident of Pinner, a member of the Pinner Local History Society and one who often walks or cycles through Pinner Park Farm, I protest most strongly about Harrow Borough Council’s proposal to evict the farmer and convert the farm into a country park and residential accommodation.
Once a medieval deer park, this ancient and historic site had become a farm by the 16th Century and is Pinner’s oldest and longest-surviving farm.
To save it from residential development and ensure its preservation, it was acquired by the Middlesex County Council and Hendon Rural District Council in 1931 and thus came into the custodianship of Harrow Council.
How ironic that the council should first allow the ancient buildings to fall into such a state of dilapidation as now to require ‘restoration’ and then seek to carry out residential development of its own at the very heart of the site.
Apart from Harrow School farm, Pinner Park Farm is probably the last working farm left in the borough and is unique in the suburbs.
The residents of Pinner are extremely fortunate to have open farmland so close at hand. It is uplifting to walk along the bridle path and admire the green fields with cattle grazing, as they have for centuries.
Why is Harrow Council hell-bent upon depriving us of this haven?
I am unaware of any demand for a country park in the area.
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It is only a few minutes’ drive to Stanmore Country Park — which is much more interesting as a country park than Pinner Park Farm could ever be. It does not boast woods or enticing paths to explore. Its attraction lies in the landscape — viewing the fields from the footpaths, dotted with cows.
What possible point is there in wandering all over cow-less fields inspecting the grass in detail? And what kind of country park has a housing estate in the middle of it and associated traffic constantly traversing it?
The real farm we already have is infinitely preferably to some artificially-created country park.
The truth of the matter is that Harrow Council wants to make money by carrying out as much development on the site as it can get away with. The so-called ‘country park’ is no more than a fig-leaf with which to cover it.
With a farmer as a tenant, the council has a permanent source of income, from which it should have been maintaining the fabric of the listed buildings With the tenant gone and the land sold off, no income will be produced.
Once the proceeds have been spent, it will only be a matter of time before further development is proposed for the site, to provide further finance.
If the development now proposed is ever allowed to come to pass, the last vestiges of rural Pinner will have been lost forever — destroyed by the farm’s own custodian: Harrow Council.
Cannon Lane, Pinner
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