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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Grow Heathrow
TG Pumpkin.jpg
Growing pumpkins
General information
Statusland squat
AddressVineries Close, Sipson, West Drayton UB7 0JH London
Coordinates51°29′24″N 0°27′29″W / 51.4900715°N 0.4580583°W / 51.4900715; -0.4580583
Archived 27 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine

Grow Heathrow is a land squat and community garden in Sipson, west London. It was occupied in 2010 by local people concerned about the possibility of the expansion of Heathrow Airport. It is part of the Transition Network.[1] Half of the site was evicted in 2019.


Around twenty people live at Grow Heathrow. The squat is offgrid and low carbon. Electricity comes from solar panels and wind turbines. There is a meadow with allotments which are used by both residents and local people. There are also three large greenhouses.[1][2]

The project states that it has four main aims:

  • To further the Heathrow villages as an iconic symbol of community resistance to the economic, ecological and democratic crises.
  • To develop and promote community and resource autonomy to support long-term community resilience
  • To establish replicable structures of organisation, which could provide a model for future non-hierarchical, consensus-based communities.
  • To root the grassroots radical values of the 3rd runway resistance in the Heathrow villages for the long term[3]

Alongside four other squats, the project was raided by the Metropolitan Police 24 hours before the 2011 Royal Wedding. There were no arrests.[4]

Legal struggles

Grow Heathrow has had a long legal battle. In this it is supported by the local MP for Hayes and Harlington and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell who said in 2017 “We need lawful spaces of protest with the values of education and community embedded in them; Grow Heathrow would be a great loss for my constituency in this crucial campaign year against Heathrow airport’s expansion.”[5]

John McDonnell supporting Grow Heathrow at court
John McDonnell supporting Grow Heathrow at court

Over four years after the occupation the owners, Lewdown Holdings Limited, took legal action on 23 September 2014 at Uxbridge County Court.[6] The owner was granted possession and the project successfully resisted bailiffs in 2015. [7] Grow Heathrow launched an appeal against eviction which lasted into 2016.[8]

Eviction threat 2019

In February 2019, the project made an urgent callout for support after losing a courtcase.[9] An eviction attempt began on 26 February, which resulted in half the project being evicted and half remaining.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b England, Charlotte (2017-07-13). "Inside Grow Heathrow: the UK's most famous protest camp". Huck Magazine. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  2. ^ Genova, Alexandra (2018-09-19). "Inside the Off-the-Grid Ecovillage Fighting London's Airport Expansion". National Geographic. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  3. ^ "Grow Heathrow". Diggers and Dreamers. London. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  4. ^ Laville, Sandra (2011-04-28). "Police raid five squats before royal wedding". Guardian. London. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  5. ^ Laville, Sandra (2017-06-29). "Grow Heathrow runway protest community given 14 days to leave site". Guardian. London. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  6. ^ "Grow Heathrow, another legal challenge". Grow Heathrow. London. 2014. Archived from the original on 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  7. ^ "Grow Heathrow successfully resists bailiffs". Grow Heathrow. London. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  8. ^ Wiles, Rich (2015-11-30). "'Grow Heathrow' community resists airport expansion". Al Jazeera. London. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  9. ^ "Urgent support call-out as Grow Heathrow eviction looms". Freedom. London. 2019-02-18. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  10. ^ "Eviction of Grow Heathrow squatters begins". BBC. London. 2019-02-26. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  11. ^ "Grow Heathrow halved". Freedom. London. 2019-02-28. Retrieved 2019-03-25.

Further reading

  • Eloise Harding (2019) 'Grow Heathrow: a Lockean analysis' Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, DOI: 10.1080/13698230.2019.1565565
This page was last edited on 31 July 2020, at 18:08
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