A development in Pinner that was opposed by more than 30,000 people could go ahead after a revised scheme was proposed.
In 2021, MML Investments submitted a planning application for the development of 46 flats across four blocks on land to the rear of 121-255 Pinner Road, known as The Sidings.
Local campaigners came together to fight the proposals, sharing their fears over the effects it could have on the surrounding woodland and the resident population of badgers. More than 30,500 people signed a petition opposing the plans, and the development was subsequently rejected by Harrow Council.
Last month, MML Investments returned with a new adapted proposal for the site. This included plans for 37 homes, with “careful consideration given to landscaping, mature planting and the retention of as many trees as possible”.
They stated that they have worked closely with the Harrow Planning Team and received guidance from Natural England to ensure that the new scheme addresses many of the previous concerns.
The fresh proposal outlines that an artificial sett will be built to rehouse the badgers, but this time, unlike the original application, a no-go zone will be put in place to prevent pedestrian access.
Pinner residents were invited to attend online and in-person consultation talks with MML throughout January.
Alia Lewis, who was a resolute voice in campaigning against the former application, is unsatisfied with the proposal adjustments.
She said: “The no-go zone is a complete red herring in my view as the badgers will be so freaked out by the construction. I’m not an expert but that just seems obvious to me. These people only care about making money sadly.
“Once MML submit their fresh application, then we will arrange another petition. I really hope people will think about the benefits of our fast dwindling green spaces and support us once we have to fight this second planning application.”
David Gregory, MML consultant, said: “From day one of ownership, we have ensured that all surveys were carried out, outside of the nesting season, to minimise disturbance on site. At great expense, we have acted responsibly to control, contain and treat the future eradication of the Japanese knotweed on site, whilst employing the best consultants to manage the challenging conditions.
“The proposals for The Sidings will enhance the biodiversity on site and provide an acoustic barrier from the trains, whilst maintaining the existing surveyed foraging routes of the badgers. We have worked closely with Harrow Council’s planning, landscape and biodiversity officers, to bring forward the best possible proposals for this site. We want to ensure that the site’s natural character can be retained, enhanced and protected.
“Transport for London is supportive of the proposed development of this site, which has suffered from historical dumping and damage to trackside equipment. The new proposals will help address many historic issues associated with the site, and deliver much-needed new and affordable homes, in a sustainable location within an enhanced landscape and ecology managed environment to ensure that the site is brought into long-term and effective use for the benefit of Harrow.”
Photo credit: MML Investments