Bringing Peace to Furnivall Gardens

New plans to lower noise pollution along A4 corridor

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A Hammersmith community group is attempting get an innovative scheme off the ground which would dramatically improve the environment of a local park.

Furnivall Gardens, the stretch of green running from the A4 along the river at Hammersmith, is at the moment blighted by traffic noise. The group, Friends of Furnivall Gardens have been developing an initiative to lower the amount of noise reaching Furnivall Gardens. Their plans include building a 2.5m high acoustic and visual barrier along the edge of the park to make it a more enjoyable place for the public to spend time.

The proposed barrier will be constructed with recycled materials and designed to absorb noise rather than reflect it which will avoid transferring the noise problem to the other side of the A4. There will be small pockets of soil at the top and bottom of the barrier to enable green climbing plants to grow on the outside, ensuring that it is in keeping with the surrounding gardens. The barrier aims to reuse as much waste as possible.

The Friends of Furnivall Gardens hope to receive a grant from the Western Riverside Environmental Fund to complete the work. This grant would cover 75% of costs, with the remaining 25% being provided by TfL, public money and a financial contribution from the Council, reflecting the expenditure that would have been used for the maintenance of fences. The final date for applications is in August, but they urgently need to obtain planning permission from the council landowner before this.

However, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham council have been reluctant to support these plans. They argue that the housing development central to Kings Mall Regeneration project, a major public/private joint venture on the Hammersmith Town Hall site, would provide a suitable acoustic and visual barrier along Furnivall Gardens by constructing a foot-bridge that will stretch over the A4.

This solution has by no means satisfied the Friends of Furnivall Gardens. They point out that the possible foot-bridge would only provide an acoustic and visual barrier along one third of the Garden’s A4 frontage. In addition, and in order to meet regulations, the footbridge would need to provide ramps for disabled access. Friends of Furnivall Gardens complain that these ramps would take up 18% of the gardens, dramatically reducing the size of this green space.

In any event, the Friends of Furnivall Gardens are eager to start construction of the remaining two thirds of the barrier. With this in place, should the situation arise whereby the proposed footbridge cannot go ahead, the barrier can then simply be extended.

Clive Wren, landscape architect and treasurer for Friends of Furnivall Gardens says, “The Council has nothing to lose and much to gain by this proposal”. Ideally, the Friends of Furnivall Gardens would like all work to be completed by the beginning of the Olympics in July, 2012.

If you would like to show your support to the Friends of Furnivall Gardens or have any questions about the project then please email

Sarah Campbell

June 17, 2011