Covenant May Protect Gunnersbury Park

Plans to extend private school to the school mansion may fall foul of restrictions

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There is a meeting of the Gunnersbury Park Joint Advisory Board on Friday 19 April at 6.30 in the Small Mansion.

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Further to the recent announcement by Gunnersbury Park Joint Advisory Panel, formed by Ealing and Hounslow councils to manage Gunnersbury Park, that a private school may take over the small mansion at Gunnersbury Park , local resident Maria Cunha has raised the issue of the Rothschild Covenant which protects Gunnersbury Park.

Writing to Alpha Plus Group Ltd and The Falcons School for Girls she asks:

Are you aware that Gunnersbury Park is protected by the Rothschild Covenant of 1925, renewed in 1926, that stipulates that the Park is to be used solely as a public park or sports ground?

As quoted in the above law report, the Councils undertook by deed that:

“they will not use the land and hereditaments for any purpose other than as a public park or sports ground and that the mansion houses and buildings on the said
land…shall not at any time…be used except for such public purposes as may be ancillary to the use thereof as aforesaid…”

As intended Lessees for 200 years, you are bound by the Restrictive Covenant. All the
houses bordering the Park along Lionel Road and many of those bordering the Park along
Popes Lane are legally entitled to the benefit of this covenant.

Your school’s proposals would be in breach of the covenant. I am concerned that a private
school should set up business in a public Park and likely wish to segregate parts of the
Park for its own uses such as for access, parents and staff car-parking, delivery areas for
school suppliers, cleaners, security and maintenance staff as well as fencing off areas for
exclusive use by your school or any outside bodies using or hiring the school building with
attendant vehicles and coaches. In future years, your school or some other school that you
might assign the 200 years Lease to may wish to erect new buildings such as a Concert
Hall, Swimming-Pool Building, Arts Centre, Classrooms, etc further eroding the use of the
Park for purely public open space purposes.

Local residents have not heard that an Application is being made to the Upper Tribunal
(Lands Chamber) by the joint Freeholders of the covenanted land and I am writing
to enquire if it is your intention to proceed with your proposals in breach of the 1926
Restrictive Covenant burdening the land.

Yvonne Johnson, the Chair of Gunnersbury Park Joint Advisory Panel, has been asked to comment on this matter.

April 18, 2013