Concern over Garden Centre plans

Chiswick House Grounds users fear sports field will become unusable

Initial proposals to create a retail (plant) nursery in Chiswick House Grounds have met with objections from many sections of the community. The loss of the playing field alone would impact greatly on a number of schools and sports groups who use the field for regular sporting activities.


Have your say on this and other issues concerning Chiswick House Grounds by completing Hounslow Council's on-line consultation

Public consultation on the garden centre plans ends 22nd July see details below

Further concerns have been raised over the expansion of the car park area by a further 15 spaces and prompted questions over whether ‘pay & display’ charges will be introduced. It is feared that visitors to the nursery could overwhelm the capacity of the car park and displace current users who are visiting Chiswick House and Grounds, the Will to Win Tennis Camp, the Hockey Field or the scout hut.

Whilst the need for extra finances generated from the house and grounds cannot be denied, it is how these funds are raised that provokes apprehension. It is felt that West London is already sufficiently supplied with nurseries for example Syon Park, Gingko at Ravenscourt Park, and, should this particular nursery venture prove unsuccessful, permanent damage would have been done the grounds for no long-term benefit

One regular user of the playing field and strong opposer of the plans explained that losing this particular area of Chiswick House grounds would result in a “significant and irreversible reduction in the area available for recreational and sporting and would contravene Hounslow’s policy objectives to protect and improve local open spaces and playing fields.”

He went on to cite that “The proposed development would lead to a significant increase in the number of vehicles leaving and entering the A4 car park onto the A4, which is already one of the most congested roads in Europe. The additional traffic due to the nursery would lead to increased congestion, and would also significantly increase the risk of a serious traffic accident.”

Current users of the Hockey field include St Mary’s, Grove Park, Orchard House and Falcons schools as well as a parent-run community football group that has used the hockey field for the past four years and provides over 30 local children with an opportunity to play football every Saturday morning.

CiP have denied that that the level of impact to the playing field will be a large as locals fear. If you wish to express your views the public consultation will run until 22nd July 2003. Contact Colin Woodward on quoting case number 00176/E/P11 and your name and address.

Emma Brophy

July 17, 2003

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