PLANS to develop part of Warren Farm Nature Reserve in Southall for sport have been reversed by Ealing Council.

Warren Farm will be re-wilded and the wildlife protected, according to a new proposal.

Sports pitches will be built on additional land, adjacent to the site, to avoid disrupting endangered species. 

Council leader Peter Mason said: “We’re over the moon to have agreed with Imperial College that the new pitches can go on their land to the north of Warren Farm.

“We continue to want to work in partnership with residents and campaigners to deliver a bold, community-led plan to safeguard Warren Farm’s open and biodiverse future.”

The proposal will be further discussed at the council cabinet meeting on Wednesday (6) before a formal agreement is made. 

The decision follows a year of campaigning after the council outlined a scheme that would have destroyed more than half of Warren Farm’s wildflower and grassland meadow.

A petition started by Warren Farm Nature Reserve, calling for the decision to be reconsidered, received more than 25,000 signatures.

There was also a protest outside Ealing Town Hall and support from wildlife conservationists and organisations.

Warren Farm NR campaigner Katie Boyles said: “Credit to the council for taking stock and reversing plans that would have been hugely environmentally damaging.

“This is a unique opportunity to set a precedent for other councils up and down the country. This doesn’t just stop with Warren Farm NR.”

Warren Farm is home to a number of different insects, animals and more than 100 different species of birds.