Brent Meadow under threat
Ealing Council has received an application from Hanwell Hottie for up to 6 4-day music events on Brent Meadow.
Brent River & Canal Society is very concerned as heavy use would ruin Brent Meadow as a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation and amount to a change in use of land in all but name.
Our objection follows.
Licence Application 17LIC56451PREM – Hanwell Hootie
Brent Meadow Brentvale Avenue Southall Middlesex UB1 3ER
Objection by Brent and River Canal Society
The Brent and River Canal Society (BRC) is a voluntary group, which was set up in 1973 with the support and cooperation of Ealing Council. Its aim is to protect and enhance the Brent River Park which is one the largest areas of green open space in the borough of Ealing.
The Brent River & Canal Society objects strongly to the proposal to grant up to 6 licences for a music, dance, etc event on Brent Meadow.
Brent Meadow is an important site for Nature Conservation as well as being valuable for quiet recreation and the famous view of the Brunel viaduct.
The application is for a licence by Hanwell Hootie for 4 days and up to five additional sessions – “This licence will be for a maximum of 5 other similar mini events to be held on the premises per year”. The Hanwell Hootie is hardly a small event so the term “mini-event” is misleading. If the real intent is to hold mini events, the size (maximum numbers of people) should be specified. The block licence means there could be large numbers of people for up to 24 days a year on the site. This is tantamount to a change of use of land and goes way beyond what should be allowed by granting a block of licences.
Brent Meadow is a Borough Grade 1 Site for Nature Conservation (SINC), designated in the Review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation in Ealing Prepared jointly by the GLA and Ealing Council update (August 2007). See Appendix for summary of the site.
An essential part of the management of the site is an annual hay cut (except on paths, which are cut more frequently). An annual cut in late summer or autumn allows flowers to set seed and insects such as butterflies to mature, thus ensuring a diverse flora and fauna. Mowing for each event and then trampling, as happened for the Hanwell Hootie, would ruin the Brent Meadow’s wildlife value and make a nonsense of its SINC status.
BRCS is concerned about the potential for disturbance and disruption both within the Brent River Park and neighbourhoods beyond. These concerns will be covered in objections by other parties.
Alternative formal park areas are available within a reasonable distance (Churchfields, Elthorne Park, Dean Gardens) and these sites would be much more appropriate for the type of events being considered.
It should be noted that the Hanwell Hootie and very likely the other (unspecified) events is not local. Advertising extends well beyond Hanwell and thousands of people come from many miles away. It is therefore not primarily a local event for local people who might in any case visit Brent Meadow or the other sites in question.