Kew Gardens Challenge Tower Block Signs

They say large advertising signs will be intrusive for garden visitors

Related links

Sign up for email newsletters from,,,,,, and

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew has challenged Hounslow Council’s decision to allow LED/neon signs on top of a local tower block.

A Chiswick residents' group recently claimed that placing the illuminated advertising signs on Boulton House, one of the six Green Dragon towers near Brentford would see the area “lit up like a brothel".

Kew Gardens has confirmed to Chiswick that it is “strongly encouraging” Hounslow Council to review its decision, but has not confirmed a report from a local source that it is considering a judicial review into the decision.

The matter was discussed at last week's planning committee of Hounslow Council.

We have asked the Council for a comment.

Tim Entwisle, Head of Horticulture and Conservation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said in a statement; “Along with other local organisations, in April 2012 the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew objected to the planning application to place illuminated advertisements on the Green Dragon towers.

“Although the Green Dragon towers are prominent from a number of points within the Gardens, they are currently muted in appearance.

"The addition of large, coloured advertising signs will increase their visibility and make them more intrusive for our visitors.

"The illumination of the advertisements means they will be visible at all times of the day and evening.”

Hounslow Council's Sustainable Development Committee approved the controversial plans, against the advice of planning officials last June. Marie Rabouhans, vice-chairman of the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society said at the time that the decision had far-reaching implications.

"Brentford will soon be even more brilliant-lit up like a brothel" she commented, after the decision was taken.

The illuminated signage on Boulton House, one of the six 23-storey council-owned residential tower blocks in Green Dragon Lane received objections from several local residents' groups, along with English Heritage, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and the London Borough of Richmond. The six towers are on Green Dragon Lane.

The Conservative Deputy Group Leader on Hounslow Council, Cllr Liz Mammatt said the challenge by the Royal Botanic Gardens "completely justifies the Conservatives' opposition to the scheme and to their asking the government whether any reserve or emergency powers existed in their remit to revoke approvals".

A statement from the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society said: “This is an interesting development.  We share Kew’s concerns about the process and would ask Hounslow to listen to its residents and neighbours.  It is in no one’s interests to degrade the local environment in this way. “


September 10, 2012