Cowley Nature Lovers Launch Petition to Protect Fragile Habitat

Cowley residents have launched a petition to appeal to Hillingdon Council to stop the conversion of office space into residential properties at the Cowley Business Park, in order to protect an important nature corridor.

30 years ago, after much opposition, neighbours compromised to agree on the development of the beautiful, treed meadow, subject to being restricted to office space, limiting human presence, and to establishing a wild native woodland to preserve nature.

Now home to herons, egrets and protected species (i.e. kingfishers, bats, water voles), this wildlife corridor is under threat by changes to planning regulations which enable commercial buildings to be converted into residential properties without considering the environmental impact.

Currently Allport House is being converted into flats. Both Otter and Waterside House were granted planning permission back in 2020. There are also new applications to increase the number of dwellings within these houses which Campaigners believe could lead to 300 additional inhabitants, increasing human traffic to the undisturbed woodlands and increasing noise and light pollution (particularly detrimental for bats, a protected UK species).

‘Cowley Nature Lovers’ are asking Hillingdon Council to stop the change of use of Otter and Waterside House from offices to residential use, in order to preserve this small but rich habitat and to avoid the fragmentation of the wider green corridor.

Bea Posada of Cowley Nature Lovers commented:

The Council has a difficult job to provide homes, but we do not think that this should be done at any cost and believe that authorities have the duty to preserve nature for future generations. The Council has also a moral obligation to comply with the pledges made 30 years ago, as without those, the buildings would not exist today”.

Cowley nature lovers are asking local residents who are sympathetic with this cause to sign and share their online petition, as well as submit comments to the Planning Office.