Tuesday night saw the Richmond council approve a joint application by The Teddington Society and FUPPF for Udney Park Playing Fields to be granted Local Green Space.
The playing fields, which many feared would be bulldozed for blocks of flats and an elderly care facility, now has the same protection as the Green Belt.
The grounds, previously owned by Imperial College London, were bought by “Retirement living specialists” Quantum Group last year who outlined that they were planning to build a care home on part of the playing fields.
Councilor Stephen Ward believed that the decision to grant the playing fields as Local Green Space has given the site an “extra layer of protection.”
Quantum’s counter submission for the re-designation of nearly 5 acres of green playing fields to non-sporting use was rejected.
Cllr Knight said, “Local Green Space is extra ammunition for the planning committee against any development Quantum propose. It was a very speculative purchase on their part – and in my opinion a foolish one.”
Quantum said it would continue to propose developments on the site, including elderly care and ‘community space’.
Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, said in the Richmond &Twickenham Times: “My heart does not bleed for Quantum. They knew what they were buying: green space in a borough which seeks to protect its green space”