Letter from Lord Tony Young, Norwood Green Residents Association as appeared in Ealing Gazette:
I read with interest the banner headline on the QPR proposal for the Warren Farm Sports Ground I felt it was a rather one sided report given that Warren Farm is actually located in Norwood Green and the Olde Hanwell Residents’ Association seem to have adopted an even worse than NIMBY approach ie not in my back yard with a NNIMBY ie nowhere near my backyard.  As chairman of the Norwood Green Residents’ Association we too want to see a good deal for the community and the borough as a whole.  I have no vested interest in supporting the QPR proposal I’m a Fulham supporter,  but I do believe that the Council are to be congratulated for adopting an imaginative approach to improve a sports facility which is in desperate need of repair and rejuvenation and as a result is seen as not suitable by many potential users.  I’m not sure how you can describe a £30 million pound investment as a gift plus the responsibility for the continued maintenance and upkeep of the whole area and the provision of a much needed foot/cycle path along Windmill Lane.  The article alleges that the current availability of pitches for local football and cricket clubs will cease that is untrue and irresponsible scaremongering.  New improved more flexible football and cricket pitches will be provided and at the first advisory group meeting representatives of the Football Association the Middlesex Cricket Board and Sport England welcomed the proposals and we have received assurances from the Council that it will make a major contribution to sports facilities in the borough without  putting a huge burden on Council tax payers an important consideration.  In addition to the Community pitches we will get a full size allweather Astroturf type pitch, a new indoor sports centre and brand new changing rooms.  The QPR Academy pitches will also be an opportunity for emerging young local football talent and QPR will be running special courses for the Disabled, for those with health problems and young women.  There will be a variety of sports/activities on offer so it’s a big expansion beyond just football and cricket, the prices will be reasonable and there is an opportunity for local communities to come up with their suggestions.  Of course there are some genuine concerns about car parking, pedestrian road crossings, floodlighting, the design and height of the buildings and travel arrangements to name a few, but in my view all of these are capable of being resolved.  QPR  have a good track record of working with local communities and I believe this project presents a great opportunity for all young people in Ealing especially on the Havelock and Windmill estates which is very important given the high levels of youth unemployment.  At the first advisory group meeting a representative from the Olde Hanwell Residents Association suggested that young people should be encouraged to submit their suggestions; it is that sort of positive approach which will help to make a success of this scheme and who knows it might produce a future Olympic champion!  Lord Tony Young of Norwood Green, Chairman, Norwood Green Residents’ Association