COB OVEN BUILDING WEEKEND IS POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBC
In the four and a half years since Grow Heathrow project started it has significantly grown in size and scope. The original abandoned plant nursery site where the project began is right next to another piece of derelict Green Belt land, that contains the ruins of several more glasshouse frames.
In the spirit of the original occupation, these have been gradually occupied and incorporated into Grow Heathrow, providing additional venues for activities, including the straw bale house that was built with the help of many willing volunteers and has been a prominent feature of the project since it was finished.
The occupiers of the Grow Heathrow site have been fighting a legal battle to retain the use of the land that the project is situated on, but that has so far been limited to the boundaries of the original site. The land bordering this, known in our community as the “Backlands”, is owned seperately by Lewdown Holdings Limited, a faceless company registered in Guernsey. After years of peaceful occupation, they have now decided to begin legal proceedings to remove anyone associated with Grow Heathrow from their land.
The land that includes the Backlands is a large area at the northern entrance to Sipson village that was formerly used for commercial agriculture. The derelict ruins of a large complex of pre-war glasshouses are evidence of what used to be a thriving fruit-growing business. It’s boundary includes the Sipson Garden Centre, that closed down in 2011 after a 75 per cent decline in trade over ten years, due to local residents’ unwillingness to invest in home improvements as the future of their properties remained uncertain. After three years of abandonment, the Sipson Garden Centre building is now in a very shabby state. Unopposed fly tipping at the rear of the site is further evidence of neglect.
The landowners have shown absolutely no interest in maintaining the land for agricultural use, and have had a planning application to develop the site (with housing, an industrial centre and a hotel) turned down. Undoubtedly, they have aspirations to overturn the Green Belt status of the land in order to achieve their development ambitions.
Four and a half years after Grow Heathrow was started, Lewdown Holdings Limited have decided to remove us from their land, despite it having no conceivable commercial use in the forseeable future. Should they submit a planning application for the land that is approved, we may be willing to leave peacefully if required, but while the land remains abandoned we feel there is justification for it being put to productive use.
Our court hearing is arranged for 11am on Tuesday 23rd September, at Uxbridge County Court. Please come along to court to show your support outside the courthouse. This is a brand new case, that is completely seperate to our ongoing defense of the main Grow Heathrow site.
Alternatively, come along to the Grow Heathrow site at any time during the day to catch up with what we’ve been up to lately, or to get involved in cooking some delicious food.
As always, we will try to pursue every available avenue to prolong our stay on site. Keep up to date with any upcoming news by checking our website, subscribing to our mailing list, following us on twitter, or joining our facebook group.
We have just been served a court hearing for the backlands at Grow Heathrow. Tuesday 23rd September, 11am, Uxbridge County Court.
Please come along to court to show your support, or come along to the Grow Heathrow site in the day to get involved in cooking some delicious food and all the rest…
We will try and pursue every avenue to prolong our stay on site – keep your eyes peeled for any upcoming news. More information to follow soon. PLEASE PASS IT ON.
This is an exciting month in Cranford Park.
We are celebrating the world’s biggest coffee morning in one of the smallest gardens (Sunday 14th September, 10am – 12 noon). The event is in the Secret Garden (near the information centre and stables) as part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’. We would be grateful if you could invite friends, make a cake or help on the day. There is an invitation attached.
On 20-21 September, the Berkeley stables, Secret Garden and St. Dunstan’s Church open their doors as part of London Open House weekend. There is an exhibition in the stables and members of the Friends will be in attendance to answer questions and collect memories. Sat. From 10.30am. On the Sunday (from 11.30am), classic motorcycles gather in the courtyard. Refreshments available, admission free.
Booking has opened for an open-air theatre production on 27 and 28 September (3pm).
Outline Theatre’s ‘Wheat to War’ is a celebration of local life and history, using song, dance and drama. Suitable for the whole family, the show features the coming of the Grand Union Canal, the building of the Great Western Railway and World War I, paying tribute to local heroes. Produced in partnership with the Imperial War Museum.
Tickets are £4 (four for £14, under fives free) via www.outlinetheatre.co.uk, ortel. 01895 851936.
Cranford Park is served by bus E6, road access is beside M4 junction 3/A312 on The Parkway. Parking is free, satnav TW5 9RZ.
We have set up a phone tree in case of the bailiffs coming back and carrying out an eviction.
If you would like to be added to the Grow Heathrow eviction phone tree to receive texts and updates if an eviction is taking place then please send your mobile number to email@example.com.
Do not text the site phone your number as the site phone is down. Sincerely sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Role of Resistance at Grow Heathrow
Grow Heathrow, is an inclusive, sustainable community project on the site of the proposed 3rd runway. We are committed to furthering positive social change through education, autonomy and campaigning.
We are looking for responsible, enthusiastic and compassionate people who understand the unique nature of Grow Heathrow as a squatted piece of land under threat of eviction, in a village fighting against airport expansion.
Grow Heathrow is a nationally recognized organisation, making front page news. This is an exciting opportunity to join one of the most exciting and innovative projects of its time and participate from the ground up in real change on both a local and global level.
If you are interested in joining our group, we encourage you to read more about the project to see that you understand and support our aims.
Please email no more than half a page about yourself and experience, stating why you’d be good for this role and send any questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 07904174031 to talk through any queries.
These roles are currently vacant and we expect to fill them as soon as possible. Please get in touch soon, as we may appoint people before the final deadlines . We will review applications on Monday 15th September and possibly again in October.
All roles will be supported directly by a relevant and fantastic Grow Heathrow member.
* Food Grower for Resistance
Will be part of growing group, growing fruit and vegetables on the Grow Heathrow site and propagating for the wider community.
Skills Needed: experience in organic food growing, site planning, communication with wider community, coordination of volunteers. Must be free some Sundays.
* Creative Design for Resistance
Will help with creative re-design of spaces, such as art and wood workshops. Will use arts to respond creatively to needs of collective resistance.
Skills Needed: experience in the arts / textiles / woodwork / architecture or all of the above.
* Events and Community for Resistance
Will be part of outreach team, helping organise events and projects at Grow Heathrow and in the local community, including regular workshops, skillshares and the annual Birthday Celebrations.
Skills Needed: Experience in outreach, planning and communication, coordination of volunteers, experience of working with people of different ages and abilities.
* Radical Health for Resistance
Will be part of wellbeing group and help sustain positive health in the community through facilitating good food consumption, alternative medicine and organising on-going workshops such as massage, yoga, meditation and conflict resolution.
Skills needed: Love, compassion, understanding, sensitivity, organisation, experience of groups. Strong culinary skills also useful.
* Radical Media for Resistance
Will be part of media team, working with local and national and online media to help share the aims of Grow Heathrow. Will liaise directly with other teams within Grow Heathrow to publicize their efforts and support their events. Will also facilitate general multi-media documentation of the Grow Heathrow project.
Skills Needed: Great if your media trained, don’t worry if not. Need experience with publicity / online media. Great if you have skills such as photography / film making, or know others who do.
Requirements for all roles: You will be required on site for minimum 1 or 2 days per week at Grow Heathrow (exact days flexible).
There is an expectation that people will, and will want to be involved in central Grow Heathrow activities as part of their role. Such involvement will include participation in some Wednesday night meetings, 7-9pm and Community Work Thursdays, 9.30am-5.30pm.
So long as it does not contradict any of Transition Heathrow’s project aims, any ethically entrepreneurial ideas for both individuals and the group as a whole will be welcomed and carefully considered.
For all roles, resources, warm sleeping space, philosophy, companionship, musical entertainment, places on workshops and meals when at Grow Heathrow will be provided.
Nearly five years later the group has cleared 30 tonnes of rubbish and runs a popular community space called Grow Heathrow with a bicycle workshop, food-growing club, renewable energy courses, and an art space.
On Friday the 15th of August, after a three year court battle, bailiffs arrived for the first time to evict the group and were met with nearly 200 people supporting Grow Heathrow to continue the project.
The bailiffs will be returning soon and the members of community garden are preparing with various resistance tactics. The group are trying to negotiate with the owner to buy the land with the support of John McDonnell MP and the Sipson Resident’s Association.
To follow their story see:
Video by film-maker Sean Richard