Minutes of the Harefield Tenants & Residents Association Meeting held on
Monday 12th June 2023, Park Lane, Village Centre, Harefield
Chair Janet Brown
Vice-Chair Jenny Shave
Secretary Wendy Rice-Morley
Treasurer Helen Conchar
Current Committee Members
A total of 26 members signed in the book.
Thanks to HC for signing in members at the door.
JB welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending.
Minutes of Last Meeting
Agreed as a true copy and approved; members had all received a copy; proposed by JS seconded HC
Matters Arising from the Minutes
Date was incorrect May 14th not 15th on the last minutes.
Should say attend.
A piece left out, should have read 2 narrowboats, on the canal adjacent to the Old Orchard, have been allowed to moor there temporarily.
Installation of the island on the Rickmansworth Road
Had been chased up with the Council, an email was received in response. It stated funding for the Scheme was via an HS2 grant. It was agreed by 26th April 2023, and therefore the Council has now invoiced HS2. Installation of the scheme will be implemented by the Council, and it is hoped the work can be done in the next couple of months. Works will include a traffic island installed adjacent to Chapel Row; installation of signage and road markings; vehicle activated signage; reduction of speed limit to 40mph from the Borough boundary - it will go from 60mph to 40mph to 30mph. Hopefully this will slow the vehicles down.
High Street Community Shop Update
Since the presentation given by Helena Webster it was discovered the Tattoo shop had been sold. However, with extensive communication between Helena Webster, Sally Williams from the Retail Revival company, with the owner and the existing leaseholder of the Tattoo shop they had confirmed agreement with the project. Last week it was set up as a pop up shop temporarily selling vintage furnishings and other accessories for two to three days per week.
Road closures are going to prove very challenging over the next few weeks. Residents will be subject to much queuing.
The Harvil Road re-alignment has been discussed by HS2/SCS and L.B.H officers regarding the next stage of works. Hopefully they will have it completed by early July 2023. It has been agreed that Harvil road will have four weeks of full closure, from 12th June 2023 until Sunday 9th July 2023. This will be the section between the Dogs Trust and the Bridge by Skip Lane. Whilst the closure is in place the Dogs Trust will have a four point traffic light system between HS2 GATE 1 to Skip Lane to allow Affinity Water to carry out works. Any other works that can also be carried out at the same time LBH will be encouraging them to do so.
Traffic on Moorhall Road and other routes will be heavy.
The emergency services will not be able to have access whilst the full closure is in place. They will be taking alternative routes. Access along Harvil Road will be made available to residents and businesses from Swakeleys Road to Skip Lane, but no access from Skip lane to Dogs Trust.
New Years Green Lane there will be a one day full road closure on 18th June from 8am to 6pm.
Moorhall Road: Crossing of Colne Valley Viaduct: the works will take place in the Summer, July and August. Apart from one night in October to remove all traffic lights. There will be a 3 Week Full Road Closure of Moorhall Road (either side of the HS2 Haul Road Crossing) between 28th July 2023 and 18th August 2023 while the Viaduct is built over Moorhall Road. There are also 4 way traffic lights during the day for some periods and some night time road closures in weeks either side of the full road closure. Please refer to the chart below:
The operation of the traffic lights in Moorhall Road has been taken over by Align and the feed back has been the traffic has moved more freely.
WR-M and JB
An introduction Patient Participation Group (PPG) meeting was held at the surgery. This meeting was arranged by the Practice Manager Scott Ridley who was keen to introduce himself to members and to get the PPG active again. He started full time work on 22nd May 2023. He acknowledged the surgery did have issues and it will take a while to get them sorted out. The main issue was communication in various forms, i.e. telephone, and website as well as in person. The solutions will not be solved overnight. A member asked whether or not members of the community were going to have a meeting with the new Manager. It was explained this was the purpose of the PPG and perhaps the member in question would like to join. If so there was an option on the Harefield practice website to join the PPG.
The manager was keen to continue with the PPG and he was hoping that more people would join and hopefully some younger people for improved representation. At his last practice he had over 20 who participated. Some others attended meetings via e/version.
With regard to the Health Centre Dr. Lemar stated the upper floor was unoccupied and had been for some time. It was hoped that these could be opened up to allow for more staff to be employed as well as other services. NHS England Properties were the leaseholders and it was taking a lot of effort and a long time try and sort out the costing of these extra rooms in the lease. A member asked about the repairs of the Health Centre and it was relayed that NHS England Properties (the leaseholder) had carried out some, after much chasing but there were still others that needed attention. Members asked the new Manager if he would attend a Harefield Tenants and Residents Association meeting, he said it would be a possibility but the wanted to get his “feet under the table” first. It was not envisaged this would be in the immediate future. It was a very positive meeting and hopefully things will improve soon.
Development of the website is progressing. The sub-committee met with Jemma Regnard from Align HS2 re the process and possibility of obtaining a grant and she was very positive. J.B submitted the application, and it was successful. They have awarded us £4.000 to develop and fund the website.
The Headings for the website are, currently, as follows:
Home Page - Introduction to HTRA
History of HTRA
Useful Information (Contacts)
JS requested that members who have other ideas on what could be included to please contact her via the secretary or the chair (Via email).
Colne Valley Country Park
On the 18th April J.B and I attended a Colne Valley Regional Park conference.
The various speakers including representative from the Colne Value Country Park, the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT) and Campaign for Rural England and London Green Belt Council. The big message I learnt from their presentations is that they are all worried by the number and amount of planning applications that have been submitted for building in the Colne Valley Country Park. Parts of the green areas around Harefield village are also in the Colne Valley Country Park. In our area the Council obviously want to find a new home for HOAC however the HMWT are not happy about this because Broadwater Lake is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). it would obviously require clearance of vegetation and include some dredging of the Lake and that would endanger wildlife including the rare, protected water voles. The lake also supports important wintering birds include great crested grebe, cormorant, gadwall, shoveler, tufted duck, pochard, wigeon, teal, goldeneye, smew and coot. It is an important roosting area.
“On the 22nd May I attended a presentation, at the River Garden Public House, Moorhall Road, by a group calling themselves Welcom (a co-operative - West London Community Moorings). Unfortunately, only myself and another lady turned up.
The Welcom group have submitted an application for a ‘Certificate of Lawful Development for a Proposed Use’. They are applying for permanent leisure moorings at the canal side next to Widewater Place. Welcom appears to be a group of boat owners that want to find permanent moorings for seven canal boats. They state that although they will have to clear vegetation and repair the canal bank, they intend to create floating island for the wildlife and fish. However, they will need to instal waste bins, connect to water and electricity supply which will probably be via a generator. I asked where they would park their cars but the answer was a bit vague, they thought they could park in the marina but there did not appear to have an agreement for that.” They would have to repair the bank and also destroy greenery and brush etc. This would mean quite a disturbance for the residents of the area.
Residents were concerned about the rubbish, collection and removal of waste, general noise from generators, music etc and general outdoor belongings eg tables/ chairs in that area. Parking would also be a problem as Moorhall Road is not suitable. Some members have written and objected to the application. (ref map attached)
Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England
On the 8th June I attended a Webinar hosted by the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England and London Green Belt Council. Yet again these charities are very worried about the applications from developers to build on the green-belt. Keir Starmer has stated that he will allow building on the Green Belt if he get elected as PM. The loss of the Green Belt not only affects people’s ability to enjoy open green areas but also kills wildlife habitats. Obviously building on brownfield sites would be preferable and it was suggested that perhaps the Councils could have the authority to compulsorily purchase some brownfield sites that are little used. One lady said that there is approx. 33,000 unoccupied homes across the 32 London boroughs and the Councils should be looking at these empty homes before granting permission to build on the Green Belt. Plus, there is obviously empty offices which could be converted.
T.W. Reported that originally, she could not see any problem with siting the facilities on the chosen site. However, now it seems there will have to be extensive dredging and cutting back trees and brush of the area in Broadwater Lake. There are a huge number of protected animals such as water voles and wildlife. This would have a devastating impact on the wild life etc.
T.W. also asked that if members were aware of any empty homes in the Borough please inform the Council, this helps to reduce the building on green/brown belt etc.
Owl Notifications - May/June 2023
If you’re having a problem with loud music, noisy pubs or barking dogs in your neighbourhood, your council can help, click here to contact them.
Please be aware that this is not a crime reporting system, to report a crime you can call 101, and in emergency dial 999.
You can report crime on the Metropolitan Police’s website, click here to make a report.
To help fight crime, please encourage your fellow neighbours to download OWL from the App store or Google Play. No registration or Login required, click here to download.
Ask Angela Safety Initiative
Do not leave your drink unattended or become distracted at the bar, and if you start to feel unwell seek assistance from venue staff. The safety initiative ‘Ask for Angela’ is being rolled out to bars, clubs and other licensed businesses across the country. People who feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened can discreetly seek help by approaching venue staff and asking them for ‘Angela’. This code-phrase will indicate to staff that they require help with their situation and a trained member of staff will then look to support and assist them. This might be through reuniting them with a friend, seeing them into a taxi, or by calling venue security and/or the police.
When out with friends? look out for each other and consider travelling back together, or “checking in” when you each arrive home safely.
Always call or book a cab or use a cab premises and never accept a lift from drivers on the street. Only black cabs can be hailed on the street so don’t ever hail a minicab without booking it in advance. Never accept a lift from a stranger.
When a minicab arrives, always ask who they are waiting for before telling them your name. Never tell them your name first. A lot of cab firms will provide a female driver if you ask for one, or will give you a password so that you know it is the correct minicab.
Always be assertive and remain vigilant. Look purposeful - it will reduce any perceived vulnerability.
Be confident with any unwanted approaches by saying ‘Don’t touch me', 'No', 'Go away’. If they persist, make sure you raise your voice and command them to ‘back away’ or shout ‘I said NO’.
Remember Drugs and Alcohol can severely impair decision making. Make a decision before you go out to only have a certain amount of drinks and stick to it, tell your friends your decision.
Motor Vehicle Crime
The theft of motor vehicles continues, particularly keyless cars by means of so-called "relay theft" where a transmitting device is held close to your front door to communicate with your key fob and then "relays" the signal to the vehicle, hence unlocking it.
Latest information and Advice
Faraday pouches and boxes will provide a level of protection provided that both keys are protected, however the closer the bag is kept to your front door the higher the chances of penetration of the signal from the thieves' relay device - so please do keep them well away from the door.
There is also the problem of wear and tear, and a small tear in the lining of the Faraday bag can still cause the protection to fail, so please remember to inspect these regularly.
Reducing the risk
Keep key fobs as far away as possible from the front door.
Fit old fashion steering locks - a superb deterrent for any vehicle, keyless or not.
Fit CCTV or a Dashcam of the type that alerts you to movement around your vehicle
Time is of the essence when a vehicle is stolen
So if your car is stolen please tell the Police on 101 as soon as you become aware (999 if it's crime in progress), and only then should you email us at Neighbourhood Watch where one of the team can try and assist you (e.g. someone else may have reported an abandoned vehicle which just happens to be the stolen one - a sequence of events which has actually happened).
Please aways supply a Crime Number or CAD Number when contacting NHW as this makes it much easier to communicate information to officers.
Scam Text Messages
If you ever receive a text message to ask you to verify your personal or financial details never do so, you can report suspicious text messages by forwarding them to 7726. #CyberProtect
Other Police Issues
A member reported there had been a wounding incident involving a knife, by Northwood Road and the cricket club, on Saturday 10th and it took 40 minutes before an ambulance arrived. Some local residents were very helpful in providing supplies to apply to the wound. It had taken over 30 minutes for the police to arrive although some were present at the Widewater Place site.
It was also reported that on Thursday 8th there was a demonstration at the Widewater Place complex, with concerns that the offices were being used for other purposes. Police arrived using blues and 2s, followed later by the arrival of more police. Up to 10 members of the police force were present and although individuals left over time it was reported that there was a police presence for 24 hours per day over a period of 4 days. It was reported that there was a large gathering of KSIMC members from the Hujjat and they were in attendance for 4 days, although the declared event was only for 2 days (8th and 9th). An officer was asked why they were there and replied that they did not know. Another said the people from the Hujjat were feeling threatened. It was also reported that there was a regular call for prayer with associated music.
Members raised the question of why there was such a large police presence and a member related that there had been an incident of a window being broken by a shot, possibly from an air rifle. It was put forward that this could have been an accident.
A member wanted to know why the Group had police support but the village did not. Witnesses were encouraged to write to the Police Borough Commander and ask this question as it is not a London Borough of Hillingdon responsibility.
JB explained that Cllr Martin Goddard was on leave and unable to attend but he had sent a statement which she read out:-
Statement by Cllr Martin Goddard of London Borough of Hillingdon
I can confirm that the new owners of Widewater Place have not yet submitted a planning application nor have they offered any further clarification as to their intended use of the site.
May I remind residents that your councillors await sight of the planning application in order to arrive at a position on the proposals.
Concerns have been expressed as to whether the owners of Widewater Place have breached existing planning consents by holding a meeting at the premises.
On becoming aware of the advance notice to hold a meeting on 8 June 2023, I referred this question to the Head of Planning at London Borough of Hillingdon.
It is my understanding that she contacted the owners and instructed an inspection of the property before reaching her conclusions.
Her report concluded that as the meeting was an AGM and not a religious meeting and given the one-off nature of the event, there were no reasonable grounds on which to interpret this as a breach of planning regulations which would require an enforcement remedy.
Residents will understand that in circumstances such as these councillors do of course rely on the professional expertise and judgement of senior officers and hence no action was taken by Hillingdon in this matter.
Comment has also been made as to the numbers and actions of Police Officers who were in attendance at the premises during and indeed since this event. The London Borough of Hillingdon does not exert any operational control over the activities of the Police and indeed were not involved in any request to attend.
Therefore, if any resident wishes to express a concern as to the course of action pursued by the Police, this should be addressed directly with the Metropolitan Police through their normal complaints procedure.’
Councillor Palmer said that she would follow up the complaint made by several members of the community regarding the Police presence at the Widewater Place Complex and not in the village.
No planning application has been submitted by KSIMC, the owners of Widewater Place and members were reminded that a close eye was being kept on all planning applications concerns were being raised as to the use of the site without planning permission. However, the Council could not confirm the site was being used inappropriately and therefore no action could be taken.
A member also informed the meeting that dividers are being put up in an area of the complex to build a school with no planning permission being granted. All the members can do is log any actions they see or hear of and inform the Council.
A member reported that the business rates on the complex came to £1,953,375 and KSIMC had booked certain areas for themselves. They may try to claim against their charitable status and pay very little in business rates and deprive LBH of funding.
J.B. reported she was unable to attend the Police Ward Panel Meeting on 6th June, 2023 and was awaiting the minutes of that meeting from the Chair.
NOTE:- Following the HTRA meeting JB was informed that the meeting had been cancelled as only 3 were present.
Planning was quiet, only one of interest which was the Whitehouse, Northwood Road. Next to the Roundhouse is a field with an existing building that currently can only be inhabited for 50 days per year. Proposal is for this building to be demolished and another building erected in its place. Associated shed also to be demolished. New build footprint slightly larger than current. There were no objections.
Parking for the Football Club during special events eg. tournaments
Several residents had complained about inconsiderate and illegal parking during the recent tournament at the Football Club. The visitors were parking on the footways, blocking driveways and generally causing many problems in the village. Ray Green, the club secretary, has offered to attend a meeting of the HTRA and listen to and answer questions. All members present were positive about Harefield FC and the volunteers and the work they did with children and youth teams (Currently involving 400). Looking for ideas to resolve the situation.
Andy Cordingley explained that they had spoken to people as they arrived and had previously handed out leaflets re parking responsibly – but inappropriate parking still happened.
Several areas have been identified that could provide extra parking, one being the Academy, however this was declined. WR-M, who has connections to the Academy offered to send an email to them. However, she had spoken to Gary South who asked her wait until dates for next year have been agreed by Ray Green.
It is an offence to park in front of driveways, on footways and grass verges and if this is happening residents need to phone the Parking Services at the Council - telephone number: 01895271418 Another suggestion was to put cones out around the area on the days the tournaments were taking place, eg on one side of Northwood Road. Raise this issue with the Council and Police find out what services could be offered. Cllr J. Palmer offered to take up the issue with LBH to see how they could support arrangements for the event
A resident asked what is the status of the white lined area outside the Cricket Club parking/ footway? Outside the Dairy Farm was a white line and when it was resurfaced it was destroyed - now big vans park there is it a footway or is it parking? What are the restrictions in that area? J.B. informed the members that following her requests last year she was informed that it was not a designated footway.
Anti-social Motorbikes were still causing distress and nuisance in South Harefield. Councillor Palmer reported youths had been riding their motorbikes over her garden and had made a gap in the hedge to get access. Adam Stinson is dealing with the anti-social behaviour. Several calls have been made regarding the motorbikes but to date nothing and no one appears to be solving the problem. The van by the farm entrance is HS2 security.
7.5 tonne lorries are coming into the village, do the cameras pick it up?
A member rang 999 due to an incident with a Gang threatening violence however it took the police so long to arrive the gang left. Time could be due to lack of car availability and distance to travel. JB to raise at a police meeting.
Generator in the neighbour’s garden running 24/7 A member complained and asked for advice about what they could do. It is constant and loud and it was extremely distressing. She was advised to monitor and report the noise for the LBH anti-social behaviour team to look into it.
A member asked if other Residents Associations, such as Denham or Ickenham, were concerned about the possible Widewater Place development. A member informed those present that Ickenham did not appear to be concerned but contact with Denham has been made.