Update On Restoration Of Gunnersbury Park

Comments invited for the planning applications of the sports facility

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Gunnersbury Friends have commented on some of the proposals for the two planning applications made to the Hounslow Council for the building of a new Sports Hall and for laying out new pitches on Gunnersbury’s open grassland area.

The major works to the much-loved museum and grounds, off Popes Lane, Brentford, will bring them back to their former glory as well as giving the borough a state-of-the-art sporting hub for the boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing.

The deadline for comments is December 23rd.

The applications are for a new two storey building on the site of the redundant bowls green. It will have a five-court sports hall, changing rooms for all the external sports facilities, will contain office and community hall provision, along with new natural grass sports pitches for rugby, cricket, artificial grass pitches and tennis courts.

The second application, for listed building consent for a joint application for the redevelopment of the redundant bowls green, playing fields and garden nursery depot and existing car-park sites.

There are 86 supporting documents for the first one and 43 for the second one.


Artists impression courtesy of Gunnersbury Friends

The Gunnersbury Friends (see their latest newsletter) have remarked that they do not like the traditional black cladding proposed for the upper floor of the building, which they say will make the building "dominant and ugly". There was concern expressed that the Visual Impact Statement, which presents several views of fenced enclosures, has viewpoints which "diminish" the impact of the proposals- for example there would be a 15 foot high fencing which would affect the open views.

"This project is a fine opportunity to upgrade sports facilities and recognise how needs have changed since the Park opened. Such a chance is unlikely to arise again for another century, so getting appearance and disposition right now really matters, to ensure we don't lose in the process, the significant features we value today."

The park will remain open while the first phase of the project – a £21million transformation of the mansion house is carried out, but the museum will be closed until 2017.

The project, which is being joint funded by Hounslow Council, Ealing Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, will transform Gunnersbury Park and Museum into a major local, national and international centre of learning.

The museum will shine a light on the history of the area, its agricultural heritage, industrial past, urbanisation and multicultural wealth.

Once completed, the £40 million regeneration of the site will be home to a first-class sports hub, with indoor and outdoor facilities, eight floodlit tennis courts, eight grass football and rugby pitches and three cricket pitches.

Throughout the park historical features such as the landscaped gardens will be restored to their former splendour.

The grounds contain 17 listed buildings – four of which are at-risk Grade II-listed outbuildings and will be preserved for posterity.

December 21, 2015

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