Gunnersbury Park Regeneration Moves Step Closer

Councils unite for Heritage Lottery Fund bid worth millions

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Hounslow and Ealing Councils have approved the next stage of the Gunnersbury Park regeneration scheme after confirming a team will be put in place to work towards a Heritage Lottery Fund bid worth millions.

At a meeting of executive members, councillors from Hounslow agreed that consultants will be appointed to explore all of the viable options for developing the site, and to produce a masterplan in partnership with Ealing Council. Ealing councillors agreed to the joint project at their Cabinet meeting in December 2010.

The development comes after the Conservation Management Plan, a review undertaken in 2008. The results of this confirmed Gunnersbury is a historic park of huge national significance and important to the local community for both formal and informal recreation and wildlife, whilst also confirming that the park is in decline.

Both Hounslow and Ealing Councils aim to have completed all the work necessary for a Heritage Lottery Fund bid in November 2011. Hounslow Council will use Section 106 funding to pay its share of the Round 1 development costs. Ealing Council has approved up to £5million for the whole project.

Cllr Corinna Smart, Hounslow’s lead member for the environment said: “Not acting on Gunnersbury soon would result in the significant loss of historic buildings on site, be detrimental to the landscape and would be impossible to reverse. Without timely, effective action now, Gunnersbury, as it exists today will not survive.

“English Heritage describes Gunnersbury as one of the most sensitive and complex cases in the Region. They have designated it as one of the top 12 ‘at risk’ properties in England with extensive, significant problems, high vulnerability and a trend of decline, despite its significance.

“The Gunnersbury Park Estate has twenty-two listed buildings of special architectural or historic interest situated in a landscape which has significant importance in its own right. We aim to improve the area and make sure it’s importance to the local area is one again brought to the fore.”

Councillor Kamaljit Dhindsa, cabinet member for Community and Customer Service at Ealing Council said: “It is an exciting time for both councils to work together to secure the substantial funding necessary to address the trend of decline at Gunnersbury Park. We have just completed a Heritage Lottery Fund bid for Pitzhanger Manor and drawing on the experience and expertise will help us prepare a bid that offers good value for money and can achieve a positive change.”

February 7, 2011