Campaigners hope TV exposure will help save former Hendon FC site

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

Campaigners battling to save the former Hendon Football Club ground are hoping TV exposure will help put a stop to the site being sold off.

Barnet Council’s decision to sell the 4.4 acre plot to Monteclare Developers Ltd was discussed on ITVs’ Are We Giving Kids a Sporting Chance? last night.

Gordon Kerr, 53, of High Barnet, has been fighting the sale for eight years saying the land in Claremont Road, Cricklewood, is protected by a covenant maintaining it should be used as open space for public and recreation use, in perpetuity.

Featuring on the programme, Mr Kerr showed a copy of the document dating back to March 11, 1927, as well as a map demonstrating 34 sites covered by similar covenants across north west London.

Speaking to the Times Series, Mr Kerr said: “This is the first time that any local authority has tried such an extraordinary crazy argument.

“If this case is lost and therefore the council won’t support the development of community grounds, then what chance do we have of producing world class athletes, or a healthy society where people can have a game of football and keep fit.”

The council’s cabinet resource committee voted in favour of selling the freehold of the land for private development in February.

But Mr Kerr is determined to continue fighting the sale. He said: “I think if it goes any further we’ll take it to the Serious Fraud Office – this cannot be allowed to happen.

"The land should be an open recreation ground forever.”

However, a council spokesman says the covenant was null and void when Hendon Urban District Council and Middlesex County Council merged to become Barnet Council in 1964.

He said: "Since 1964 the benefit and burden fell on Barnet Council and therefore the covenant falls. The land hasn't been used as open recreation space for just short of 90 years."  

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