The site was originally part of the Sipson Farm but then became abandoned and taken over by the Grow Heathrow group. With the support of local community and member of Parliaments, they have successfully transformed the unused land into a working market garden that encourages sustainability and self-sufficiency within the neighbourhood. The group aims to promote the radical grassroots radical values in resisting the Third Runway proposal. More importantly, they want to establish a replicable model for ‘non-hierarchical, consensus-based communities’.
This is a communal effort with the group’s informal architects, planners and technology “experts” (e.g. member who has knowledge or skills in building energy network) step in to design and build the space collectively to suit as a self-sufficient and communal living area. Grow Heathrow organises workshops like solar panel and soap-making workshops on a regular basis, as well as selling organic crops in local farmer markets.
Grow Heathrow group is still under threat of eviction since they have not been able to buy the land. Also, the site is also under threat of being developed to favour economic interests that planning applications is being constantly submitted. The current proposed Third Runway plan would also bring significant negative impact on the community and livelihood of Heathrow villages, as well as severe pollution. This brings back to the key aim of Grow Heathrow – to cope with ‘injustices and threats of the economic, ecological and democratic crises’.
Image credit: (c) Nicole Tsui