New public park planned for Hounslow
Wednesday 12 September 2012
Formal Investments are progressing the development of the biggest new public park to be created in West London in more than 100 years.
Our plan offers a fantastic opportunity which has many local benefits. The method of extraction minimises disruption, creates significant employment opportunities both during the extraction phase and thereafter in the space being created and, most importantly, it delivers a wonderful new park for everybody to enjoy
The 100 acre (approx.) vacant and overgrown field known locally as Rectory Farm lies north of the Waggoners and Henlys roundabouts on the A4 in Heston and Cranford, Hounslow. It will be transformed into a one kilometre long, landscaped park thanks to an innovative method of gravel extraction.
Unlike traditional open cast gravel extraction, Formal Investments propose to mine the gravel from underneath the park. This means that the noise, dust and other impacts associated with open cast mining will be avoided.
The extraction, well within the surface boundaries of the field, would be carefully monitored to meet any planning conditions imposed to prevent adverse impact on local residents, such as subsidence.
There is a pressing need for gravel and other aggregates to be sustainably sourced in London and this is one of two preferred mineral extraction sites in Hounslow that can deliver this requirement. Some of the on-site gravel will be used to landscape the parkland and also to create the underground structures in the spaces remaining when the gravel has been removed.
These large underground structures will be capable of being used in a wide variety of ways, such as warehousing, storage and distribution, attracting new business and jobs both during construction and landscaping process and longterm in the underground spaces.
Richard Jones, Project Manager, said: “We are very excited about this project which will create the largest new park in West London since the great Victorian parks of the 19th Century. The gravel and other minerals at this site are very much required and it’s inevitable that they will need to be extracted in the near future.
“Our plan offers a fantastic opportunity which has many local benefits. The method of extraction minimises disruption, creates significant employment opportunities both during the extraction phase and thereafter in the space being created and, most importantly, it delivers a wonderful new park for everybody to enjoy.”
A highly experienced team of architects, landscape architects and engineers has been assembled for the project. Each member of the team – architects Carmody Groarke, engineering consultants Arup, planning consultants DP9 and landscape architects Vogt – are internationally recognised for critically acclaimed, innovative projects such as the 7 July Memorial in Hyde Park, the Beijing Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, The Pinnacle in the City of London and the Allianz Arena in Munich.
The team has drawn up detailed plans to minimise the impact of excavation and construction on local residents. The work will be phased so that only one section of the plot is being worked at any one time and areas of the new parkland would be opened to public almost immediately.
The new park would help address the local deficiency in areas of publicly accessible open space and would help improve connectivity in the local area. It is envisaged the park would be popular with walkers, cyclists, dog owners, sports clubs, joggers and the many local people who may already use the footpath bordering the land. The park could also be partially used as a plant and tree nursery that could serve the wider community.
It is anticipated a planning application will be submitted to the London Borough of Hounslow this Autumn. Discussions are on going with stakeholders, including the Greater London Authority, Design For London, London Wildlife, Civil Aviation Authority, British Airports Authority and English Heritage.
Public exhibitions to enable local residents to ask questions and say what they would like in the park have been announced at:
Heston Community Centre Tuesday 18 September, 2pm – 7pm
Cranford Community College Wednesday 19 September, 4pm – 9pm
Treaty Shopping Centre Friday 21 September 9am – 6pm Saturday 22 September 9am – 6pm