Paper Winter Newsletter Available

If you know Ickenham villagers without internet access, they might be interested to hear that a small number of printed copies will be available in the village from Monday as follows:
Maison du Soleil
St Giles Porch
Ickenham Library, and
Dalton’s egg van next Sat 12th

We are hopeful that by the time the next newsletter (due March 2020) is ready we will all be in a position to deliver it to our members.

Winter Newsletter Available Online

You’ll find the Winter 2020 issue in the website archive.

(Normally, we add newsletters to the archive as soon as the next one hits the streets. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the street-hitting still hasn’t started up.)

If you are not a member of the Residents’ Association, for a £2 per annum subscription, you can normally get the newsletters hot off the press. For no extra, and at your choice, the Association will keep you updated with more immediate news by email. If you are a member and don’t get the emails, drop a line to ickenhamresidents@hotmail.com

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: https://modgov.hillingdon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=115&MId=3907

Hillingdon Cabinet meetings are broadcast live on the Council’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/HillingdonLondon 

Find out more about your Elected Representatives and how to contact them here: https://modgov.hillingdon.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=ALPHA&VW=LIST&PIC=0

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.”

Image
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
Image
September 2016

Night-time test flights at Northolt 19 and 20 October

Night flying activity can give local residents cause for concern but this is routine activity and a yearly occurrence to calibrate the runway.

FROM RAF Northolt:
“There will be night flying on 19 and 20 Oct during the period 2200 to 0600 on both nights. This is essential flight checking activity in order to calibrate the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Precision Approach Radar (PAR). Multiple approaches will be flown to both runways in order to assure the safety of the stn’s Navigat