Park proposals submitted to council
Wednesday 27 March 2013
A new public park in Cranford and Heston moved a step closer today [Wednesday March 27 2013] when the planning application was submitted to the London Borough of Hounslow.
The gravel extraction will enable the creation of a wonderful new park for the public to enjoy for generations to come. We believe local people appreciate our intention to extract the gravel in a process designed to minimise disruption and create underground spaces which will attract new jobs
Backed by an overwhelming majority of the public in wide-ranging consultations, the 110 acre park – the largest new park to be created in West London for more than 100 years – is proposed for disused land known as Rectory Farm, north of Bath Road (A4) and east of The Parkway (A312).
The application details plans to create a fabulous new park and to extract gravel from beneath the surface. The proposed ‘sealed top-down construction’ method will minimise the impacts of traditional mining. The gravel will be taken from beneath the surface and subterranean warehouse space constructed in the resulting voids.
The underground spaces, for use by organisations and businesses for storage and other activities, creating significant employment.
Local people have given their views on the plans at a series of public meetings and briefings over many months at community centres, Cranford Community College and The Treaty Centre.
People who live and work in Heston, Cranford and Hounslow were asked about facilities they would like to see in the park. More than 350 initial questionnaires were completed, with the overwhelming majority supportive of the plans – 97.5% liked the idea of a new park, 94.6% wanted the land turned into a public park rather than returned to farming and 79.5% said they would walk, cycle or get a bus to the new park.
Some people said they are concerned about the project’s impact on traffic congestion at the Waggoner’s Roundabout. In response, the proposals have been amended to take the site entrance further north and to create a traffic light controlled junction so traffic will avoid the roundabout.
In response to local residents who said they want the park to be kept free of anti-social behaviour, the existing farmhouse would become the permanent home for a park manager who would patrol the park, lock it at night and open it at dawn.
The revised proposals were also put to public consultation, with 447 completed questionnaires and 86.3% of respondents no longer having concerns about disruption such as traffic.
The plans have also been discussed with bodies including the Greater London Authority, Transport for London, Design for London, London Wildlife, Civil Aviation Authority, British Airports Authority and English Heritage.
The London Borough of Hounslow has identified Rectory Farm as one of only two sites in the Borough capable of meeting the strategic requirements for gravel – needed to sustain future construction projects in West London.
Richard Jones, Project Manager, said: “The consultation events were very popular and we thank everyone for their many views and suggestions. We have amended our plans to address concerns and are convinced the public welcomes the proposals for the new park.
“The gravel extraction will enable the creation of a wonderful new park for the public to enjoy for generations to come. We believe local people appreciate our intention to extract the gravel in a process designed to minimise disruption and create underground spaces which will attract new jobs.”
People can find out more about the project at www.rectory-farm.com