New secondary school on Ruislip Golf Course to be considered

On Thursday 12 November Hillingdon Council Cabinet will consider a proposed agreement to lease part of Ruislip Golf Course for the site of a new secondary school. 

The land in question is east of Clacks Lane in Ruislip (image from Google Street View)

Although outside the Ickenham boundary, the site is approximately 1km from the village pump. For comparison, Douay Martyrs is approximately 600m from the pump, Vyners School is approximately 1.4km and Ruislip High, the closest secondary school outside Ickenham,  is 2.2km.  

Some key quotes from the Cabinet meeting paper on the matter are set out below:  

 “In August 2020, DfE decided to formally to progress the bid from Veritas Academy Trust for a new school called Bishop Arden north of the A40” and that “the Bishop Arden bid in 2016 was strongly supported by parents in the north of the borough since it would provide another outstanding school open to pupils of all faiths and none, living in the local area.” 

“For the past few years, to meet the increasing demand of larger numbers coming up from the primary sector each year, the secondary intake has required additional temporary ‘bulge’ places to be agreed in up to five schools each year to meet the statutory duty to give residents an offer of a school place. In 2020 this was 145 places and is projected to rise each year up to 2024 and then remain high and plateau. However, the Local Authority cannot force academies to expand. Up to now, these have used existing accommodation on the school sites. Most of the 18 secondary school sites across the borough are now full, with no options for further expansions, and most are on playing fields, green belt and/or metropolitan open land which create serious planning constraints.” 

“Ruislip Golf Course is the only possible site officers have identified where a desktop analysis has not identified any significant planning constraints. In this regard the site might still attract resident opposition, but it would be a matter for the Council as a planning authority to determine any planning application on its merits. The land is flat, has an obvious existing vehicular access point (where Hill Lane intersects with the Ickenham Road), is a highly sustainable location close to the underground station and bus routes, is not defined as high quality agricultural land, it is not contaminated land and is large enough to accommodate a secondary school without the necessary new buildings needing to be too close to neighbouring residential property.” 

“HS2 Ltd does not object to the Council developing alternative land uses on the academy part of the golf course and…it would still develop the remaining part of the land as a 9 hole golf course”.

The Cabinet meeting paper and a map of the proposal are online here:

Hillingdon Cabinet meetings are broadcast live on the Council’s YouTube channel: 

Find out more about your Elected Representatives and how to contact them here:

Ickenham Pond restoration

The Council have confirmed that work is underway to restore Ickenham Pond. A site notice states that “many invasive species have affected the pond and it is now in need of complete restoration. The project will enhance the pond, increase biodiversity and improve the aesthetic appearance of the surrounding area.”

Pictured here in August 2020 by the Crane Valley Partnership (@CVP_CraneValley )

Vegetation has been cut back regularly over the past few years, including the removal of the overhanging willows visible in the 2016 picture below.

Lilly, Reed Mace, Iris and various grasses have thrived recently and dragon and damselflies are a common site in summer months. But Parrot’s Feather and New Zealand Pigmyweed (likely to be the invasive species mentioned in the Council notice) have continued to spread and dominate.

It is reassuring that the Council are committed to increase the biodiversity of the pond, meaning it will be retained as a nature pond, rather than as a purely ornamental feature.

The work is being carried out by AGA Group, a Thetford based Aquatic & Fluvial Engineering company.

Work progressing on 22 October 2020
September 2016

Watching sport near Ickenham

Most of us know that Ickenham has a cricket club (Oak Ave), a rugby club (Ruislip/Uxbridge), tennis clubs (Swakeleys Drive) and a youth football team (playing at various locations). Contact details for these teams can be found on our useful links page.

There are also lots of other sports teams based near our village. Some of these are listed below:

Wealdstone Football Club, based at Grosvenor Vale in Ruislip. The ‘Stones currently compete in the Conference South. The ladies team currently compete in the Greater London League Division 1. The ground is a short walk from Ruislip Station.

Ruislip Rugby Club, based on West End Road in Ruislip. The First XV currently compete in London 1 league. The ground is a short walk from Ruislip Station.

West London Eagles Handball Club, based at the Queensmead Sports Centre in Ruislip. Both men’s and women’s team currently compete in the national Premier Leagues. Queensmead Sports Centre is a few minutes walk from South Ruislip station.

London Gaelic Athletic Association, opposite the Polish War Memorial in South Ruislip. The ground is the headquarters and principal Gaelic games facility for London. Various men’s and women’s curling and Gaelic football teams playing at the ground, which is a fair trek from South Ruislip station. The E7 bus stops right outside.

London Broncos Rugby League Club,  and Ealing Trialfinders Rugby Club, both based on Vallis Way in Ealing. Both clubs compete in the second flight in their respective national leagues. The ground is a short walk from Castle Bar Park station, which is about 20 mins from West Ruislip (change at Greenford).

Do get in touch to suggest additions to the list above.

‘Playing Out’ – Council to consult on closing roads for play

The London Borough of Hillingdon have announced their intention to consult on becoming the 46th English Council to support regular temporary closures of residential streets for play.

Ickenham Councillor David Simmonds announced the move at the Full Council meeting on Thursday 7 September.

Councillor Simmonds spoke of the varied benefits of the initiave. He drew parallels with the street parties that were so popular across Ickenham in 2016.

A date for the consultation has not yet been set. More information about ‘playing out’ is available online here:

Try scything on Ickenham Marsh (16 Sept)

Come along and enjoy the art of cutting grass by hand, or just enjoy watching scythe mowing in action.

10.30am-1.00pm, Saturday 16 Sept

After successful public scything sessions on Pinn Meadows in Ruislip, the London Borough of Hillingdon Green Spaces team have agreed to bring their scythes down to the Ickenham Marsh for us to have a go. London Wildlife Trust representatives will be around too.

You can access the Marsh via the Austin’s Lane track – follow the track from the gate at the junction of Austin’s Lane and Glebe Avenue. Signs will be displayed on the day.

This event has been arranged by the Ickenham Marshes Partnership, which was established in 2012 by the Ickenham and Ruislip Gardens Residents’ Associations to bring local people, landowners and land managers together informally to make to most of the Marshes.

Ickenham Archaeological Priority Area

1754 Ickenham map

As part of the evidence base for Hillingdon’s new Local Plan, consultants were employed by Hillingdon Council to carry out desk-based surveys of Archaeological Priority Areas across the Borough.

Ickenham’s 9 page study features maps of the village centre dating from between 1754 (by John Rocque, pictured above) and 2013. The study can be viewed here:

Ickenham Archaeological Desk Based Assessment

Studies for other areas in the Borough can be viewed online here:

The Borough’s emerging ‘Development Management Policies’ which set out the practical implications for development proposals within such areas can be viewed online here:

These policies are different to those that apply in Conservation Areas. Ickenham’s Conservation Area map can be viewed online here:


TfL propose new Ickenham-Heathrow bus service


Our existing local services seem unaffected, but one of the proposed changes is a new ‘route 278’  between Ruislip and Heathrow Airport, Central Bus Station via Hayes & Harlington station. It would run the full length of Long Lane and via Hillingdon, Hayes End, Church Road and Hayes town centre. It would run at 5 buses per hour Monday to Saturday daytimes and 3 bph Sundays and all evenings using double-deck buses.

TfL State:

“Consultation will be undertaken on the service changes. Following analysis of the
responses, the next step will be determine whether or not a specific scheme should
proceed or whether it should be amended in some way.

Other considerations will also need to be taken account as part of coming to a final
decision. This includes TfL’s financial position and the affordability of the schemes.

In some instances physical constraints e.g. new stands may be a barrier to delivery.

Precisely when service changes will be made will be subject to further consideration
but would broadly align with the various phases of the Elizabeth line opening.

Finally the bus network will be kept under review enabling further changes to be made
to bus services in the future.”


Paving over front gardens

New Council guide published

paving garden pic

The London Borough of Hillingdon have taken planning enforcement action in Ickenham recently where homes have failed to apply for planning permission to concrete over their front gardens. While many would agree the loss of front gardens detracts from Ickenham’s street scene, and does little to help our local bee populations, the Council’s responsibilities on this issue relate to flood and water management.

The following guide, produced by LBH’s Flooding Officer, sets out some of the do’s and don’t’s if you’ve taken the decision to pave some or all of your front garden: