Development of Chiswick Heritage Plant
Information Requested by Sustainable
CIP, Landscape Services
Draft submission for comment.
Interested parties are invited to comment on these draft proposals
for Chiswick Heritage Plant Centre before this document is submitted
to the Sustainable Development Committee. It is currently intended
that the planning application be considered by the Committee at
their meeting of 28 April 2003. Comments should be made in writing
to Andrew Life, CIP Landscape Services, Feltham Airparcs Leisure
Centre, Uxbridge Road, Hanworth TW13 5EG (email: Andrew.Life@cip.org.uk) to be received
by 7 March 2003. CIP will consider any comments in preparing
its final submission.
1. Executive summary
CIP has applied for permission to change the use of part of the
walled kitchen garden at Chiswick House Grounds (CHG) for the
operation of a plant centre selling unusual plants, plants with
local historical connections and a limited range of ancillary
products. This report provides additional information on the
proposals to enable the Sustainable Development Committee (SDC)
of the London Borough of Hounslow (LBH) to reach a planning decision,
and its content has been made widely available to enable interested
parties to comment on the proposals.
The general restoration of CHG is the subject of a bid for Heritage
Lottery Funding (HLF), and prospects for the restoration have
recently been significantly enhanced following news from English
Heritage that a private benefactor intends to support the project
with a substantial donation. The plans for the plant centre have
been reviewed in the context of the wider restoration proposals,
and a consensus has been reached between CIP, the Friends of Chiswick
House, English Heritage and LBH that a plant centre with nursery
growing plants for sale would be compatible with most other functions
currently being considered for the area. The nursery has been
specified within the constraints imposed by such functions and
by the available infrastructure – particularly parking and stock
deliveries. Key features of the proposal are as follows (refer
also to Figure 1).
· The nursery will be located in part of the southern walled
garden, expanding to a maximum area of 1773m2. It
will also utilise existing glasshouses and some parts of the depot
· Public access will be through the existing gate in the west
wall of the southern walled garden. New paths are proposed through
the Hockey Field - from the A4 car park, close to the garden
wall, and from the nursery gate to the existing path from the
car park. Occasional access on special occasions may be permitted
through the Conservatory and 17th century gates.
· 15 additional car parking spaces will be provided for customer
use, as it is expected that the car park will occasionally otherwise
be filled by general visitors to CHG and the adjacent tennis courts.
· Deliveries will be made via Dukes Avenue. Although occasional
larger vehicles will be able to unload in the Avenue, most deliveries
will involve smaller vans that will unload in the depot area.
· The nursery will be open during the summer 7 days a week
and for 9 hours per day. The opening period will be shorter in
Additional traffic entering the car park
The car park off of the A4 is currently fully utilised at peak
times during summer weekends, bank holidays and when special events
are held in the Hockey Field, and additional parking has been
provided for these occasions. It is predicted that, once established,
the plant centre will generate an additional 75 daily visitors
to the car park at weekends between June and August and 54 on
weekdays at this time. Smaller increases in traffic are expected
at other times.
Additional traffic on Dukes Avenue
Deliveries to the nursery and deliveries by the nursery to local
customers are not expected to generate more than three deliveries
per day. Most will involve small vans that will load/unload in
the depot area. Incoming deliveries will only be made on weekdays
and vehicle speeds will be controlled.
The nursery will, from its second year, partially occupy an area
dominated by weak, densely spaced trees in the southern walled
garden that have grown on from the old nursery beds dating to
the 1980s. A preliminary ecological assessment has not identified
important wildlife habitats; however, CIP will undertake a full
ecological assessment in the spring. The possibility of habitat
conservation to increase the ecological value of part of the northern
walled garden area is an option under consideration as part of
the more general restoration of CHG.
The nursery itself will not be visible to properties outside
CHG. Residents of houses in Paxton Road will see occasional delivery
vehicles on Dukes Avenue from their upstairs windows, and passers-by
on the A4 will see signage in the car park. Visitors of the grounds
will glimpse the nursery from the Conservatory and through the
west gate of the walled garden. They will also see small signs
within the grounds and additional spaces in the car park.
CIP has proposed to establish a small plant centre and nursery
in part of the walled kitchen garden at Chiswick House Grounds (CHG),
London W4. CIP intends to develop the plant centre in keeping with
the historic location in terms of the centre’s character, scale
and impact on the fabric of the walled garden. An application for
change of use of the site was submitted to Development Control,
London Borough of Hounslow (LBH) in March 2002.
The application raised local fears that the business would spoil
the special character of CHG and increase traffic and disturbance
in the local area. CIP sought to reduce these concerns through
liaison with the Friends of Chiswick House (FCH) and by providing
additional information about the proposals to interested parties
by means of briefing documents and posters in CHG and local libraries.
Nevertheless, the concerns were also raised when the Chiswick Area
Planning Committee was consulted on the case on 16 October 2002.
This Committee was generally supportive of the proposals but wished
that residents’ concerns be carried forward to the Sustainable Development
Committee (SDC) at its meeting on 31 October 2002. At this meeting
the SDC voted, after discussion, to defer a decision on the application
until CIP provided additional information relating to:
· the likely impact and operational arrangements
of the nursery
· parking and traffic impact on the A4
· environmental impact of the plant centre on
The committee also recommended that local residents, as represented
by FCH, be consulted.
This report seeks to
provide the Sustainable Development Committee with additional information
on the proposal to enable Members to reach a planning decision.
Section 3 describes the consultation that CIP has undertaken to
understand these concerns and presents a more closely defined proposal
arising from this process. Section 4 addresses the specific concerns
of the SDC in the light of the proposal.
2 - includes revised proposals and plans
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