19th January 2018 Big picture update
So, a lot has happened over the last few months ... and here is a summary of it, the highs and lows, and where we currently are (I think !) -
1 - at the recommendation of the local councillors, we withdrew the previous planning application (on the basis it would have allegedly been refused). Shame - and a much longer story.
2 - the friends of HPH really came into their own and into the foreground. A lesson well and truly learnt by me for next time to involve them earlier. I can't say thanks enough to Katy, Marianna, Angela, Jules, Sam, Richard, Rich, John, Akhil, and to Mike Foston. The coverage and local interest has been amazing and overwhelming - I was with an ex Govt minister the other day and we agreed that we could not ever recall a scheme of this complexity and nature having such public and local support. I have never been a facebook fan but with more than 7,000 people viewing Richard Griffiths scrabbling around in the under growth on a Sunday afternoon - nothing amazes me anymore ! Without listing the dozens of events, postings and things being done - I can only direct people to the HPH facebook page or the friends web site (www.hanworthparkhouse.co.uk) for more info. Local people should be proud of them - the previous community benefits that came with the hotel consent were that local people could come and look through the windows ! Currently, the community will be having exclusive access and rights over the entire basement and ground floor rooms that were the most historically significant. This equates to more than 10,000 sq ft of community space and terraces in and around the house, with plans for a museum, cafe, artists studios, tech hub, micro business space, play areas, community library, and various community development and charitable space. It's a pretty good outcome and I can't think of any other major mansion offering this kind of community space ...
3 - I have not yet met a person who does not want to see the house saved and restored for the local community / future generations. Clearly, the challenge is converting all these amazing words into progress and a solution.
4 - Over the last few weeks, we have been speaking with Historic England and LBH Conservation to find a solution that provides a meaningful restoration whilst producing a smaller scheme that LBH would find acceptable in both community benefits and their perception of the impact on the green belt.
5 - It will need some 'fine tuning' but the current thinking is to pare back some of 'grand restoration' costs (that produced the 247 unit scheme) and to only focus on a conservation restoration on the public areas of the house and the exterior facade. The rest of the house will undergo a modern high quality sympathetic conversion and the formal gardens will be scaled back a little. It will still look fantastic. The net result is that we end up with a housing scheme that is less than 50% of what it was, and smaller in footprint and volume than the consented hotel scheme.
6 - We will never escape from the fact that any development will occur on green belt. However, it is critical to recognise that this is the best solution to save the house - it uses less green belt than the consented hotel scheme, creates 10 acres of new green belt, and provides the local community with an amazing suite of community benefits for the future.
7 - From here on - it really is within the gift of LBH and GLA whether Hanworth Park House is saved or not. Yet again, we have delivered what has been asked in terms of impact on green belt, size of enabling development (housing) and a massive increase in community benefits.
8 - Many of you have seen the house and now appreciate just how precarious a position it is in. If LBH are not prepared to support this scheme and sell (or swap) a tiny piece of land to enable it to be built, or support development on my land - then unfortunately, there is no solution. In the next few months - we will all know which one it is. I can only continue to hope that those people entrusted with the responsibility to represent their community will do so in this instance. What I do know is that every single person from a conservation perspective who has visited the house - has said how amazing it would be if this house was saved from a quarter of century of neglect and how amazing it would be for those local people who have an affinity or relationship with it and would get to enjoy it in the future.
21st October GLA Executive Summary
We believe that the restoration of Hanworth Park House is in the ‘sweet spot’ of GLA priorities -
Embraces the focus around culture and heritage, and their ability to transform communities, drive the capital’s economy and maintain the pre-eminent position of London.
Fully embraces the belief that it is our collective responsibility to get our built environment right for future generations, and to ensure that our historic buildings are not left to rot and decay. A positive approach to making the most of our cultural assets, enhancing our unique environment – leaving a lasting legacy to be proud of. HPH has been left in decline for far too long and now stands on the precipice of being lost forever if a solution is not found.
Help solve London’s greatest challenge by converting a decade of unviable planning consents (166 bed room hotel) into c 180 new “mainstream” affordable homes (plus further potential sub market rent homes)
Apply ‘good growth’ principles and balance green belt conflicts when considering enabling development projects – specifically, when considering the purpose of the green belt is both to protect against urban sprawl, but at the same time encourage the regeneration of damaged and derelict land. It is critical to note that no additional green belt is used in this enabling development, over and above what has been consented – and our revised proposals seek to provide more than 4ha of new public amenity green belt.
Site and heritage value
The 2ha site (Hanworth Park House) is located 1km southwest of Feltham town centre and sits just within the broader Historic Royal Hanworth Park (67ha) - designated as Green Belt and a Nature Area of local importance within the Hounslow UDP.
Hanworth Park House is a grade II listed country house. It is in a serious state of disrepair (category A of Historic England’s ‘building at risk’), after having remained empty and neglected for more than 25yrs.
The house was last occupied as a local authority residential care home. It closed in 1992 and, like the surrounding land (its previous curtilage) has been left to decay and ruin.
Although all of the urgent repair works requested by Historic England have been undertaken by the new owners and the house has 24/7/365 on site security – it remains in a perilous condition.
The attached youtube videos provide a useful reference point on the current condition of the house and its history
Prior to the last 25yrs of neglect, the house and park has played an iconic role within the local, London wide and national heritage and history. In the preceding 1,000yrs since appearing the domesday register, it has made numerous “plaque-worthy” contributions to our way of living and society, and was recently described as a national monument, and the most important heritage asset locally, by LBH and Historic England.
LBH issued a planning brief in 1993 confirming residential, hotel or office use as suitable uses to bring the house and grounds back into use, and both LBH and the GLA have often confirmed that there is no strategic concern regarding change of use to residential. LBH recently confirmed it as their preferred option.
In 2001, planning refused for 120 bed hotel on design grounds,
In 2003, planning permission granted for an 84 bed hotel.
In 2007, recommended for approval for a 166 bed hotel and conference centre. Did not proceed as discussions with LBH over land sale / swap were not concluded.
In 2012, permission granted for 166 bed hotel and conference / leisure centre under enabling development, utilising 1ha of council owned land to build 10 pavilions and a large car park. This application was re-approved in November 2016 by the current owners.
In each of these applications, the key issue was whether “very special circumstances” existed to outweigh the harm to the MOL caused by the proposal, especially when the principle of enabling development was included in the consideration.
In their various planning reports related to the hotel consent, LBH indicated –
“The Council has a duty to seek a satisfactory outcome to the listed building being vacant and at risk”.
“The proposed scheme would restore the house and bring it back into use – that very special circumstances existed to justify the proposal, and the public benefits from restoration of the Listed Building outweigh any harm”.
“Whilst the proposals were still contrary to Hounslow’s planning policies for preserving the openness of the green belt, the restoration of the listed building is considered to constitute the very special circumstances that would justify a departure from the Local Plan”.
Current Planning Backdrop
In Dec 2014, the current owners bought Hanworth Park House – a large derelict grade II listed mansion (25,000sq ft) set in its own grounds of 2ha. It is completely fenced off to the public and accessed via 4 security gates. Within the fenced off area, LBH also own c 1 ha of derelict garden area, which they have not accessed since 1992.
The house is surrounded on all sides by (LBH owned) derelict, overgrown, inaccessible self - seeded scrub land (3ha), and where previously more than 325,000 sq ft of industrial buildings were present.
The existing planning consent has been proven to be fundamentally flawed in both the costs required to restore the house and grounds, and its financial deliverability and demand for a hotel in this location.
In early 2015, discussions started with LBH and HE to convert the flawed and unviable hotel consent into a residential development, working in conjunction with local councillors and residents to produced a scheme that everyone would support. It was widely recognised and acknowledged that if a solution was not found in the near future – the house would fall down or be burnt down. The principle of enabling development was supported, as was the the principle of residential use to help find a deliverable solution.
Both HE and LBH Conservation specifically asked for a conservation led restoration to be progressed in the full knowledge that this would produce a large enabling development scheme (> 250 units).
We spent more than a year working with Historic England, LBH Conservation and LBH Design to agree a scheme that “show cased” the restored hanworth park house, re-connected the house back to the park, and located the enabling development on the areas of land (proposed by LBH) that were perceived to be “less harmful” in heritage terms, and also less visible.
It became clear that the resultant enabling development scheme of 247 units was simply too large. We then spent the next year working with LBH to reduce the quantum of enabling development and refining the viability analysis such that the development footprint closely resembled the existing hotel consent and used similar amount of green belt to what had already been consented.
We have the support of local councillors and hundreds if not thousands of local residents for our proposed restoration.
Unfortunately and somewhat surprisingly, we do not currently have the support of LBH Development Management. Although they had previously confirmed their support, and that the restoration of the house on its own provided the very special circumstances - they have recently raised concerns over urban sprawl and openness. In the last few weeks, they have made a number of constructive suggestions to resolve their concerns – most notably, a re / de-designation of the land such that the development falls within planning policy.
Material Considerations / Public Benefits
Restoration of Hanworth Park House and surrounding grounds - without a doubt, the most material consideration and the greatest public benefit is the restoration of an iconic house that has been left to decay for more than a quarter of a century, after numerous flawed and failed attempts to revitalise it andthe local area (AMR KPI24).
Green belt regeneration - development on green belt is clearly very contentious. There are two very obvious considerations / benefits in this case; (1) the fact that the revised proposals do not ‘use’ any more green belt than what has already been consented and agreed on two previous occasions (AMR KPI1), and (2), unlike previous schemes and consents, we are proposing to ‘create’ more than 4ha of publicly accessible ‘new’ green belt in the form of amenity parkland (AMR KPI3 and AMR KPI18), connected into the broader 67ha hanworth park via heritage trails, cycle and pathways, including the restoration of Longford River (AMR KP23). The site and park will then have excellent walking, cycling and infrastructure connections to Feltham town centre and beyond.
Affordable homes – we will be providing c 200 new high quality and affordable homes (‘mainstream’ c £ 420psf) with priority given to local people in an area where there is an acute shortage (AMR KPI4 and AMR KPI5). Enabling development does not make provision for social affordable homes. The owner of HPH is offering separately to own, build and offer for rent up to 100 social affordable in return for the sale, lease or land swap as part of the overall social contribution / community benefit.
Community benefits – we will be creating more than 10,000sq ft of publicly accessible community space in and around the house, including a local heritage museum, a “pop-up” café, and several meeting / function rooms. These spaces will be made available to local clubs, societies, and businesses with all revenue being re-invested to the house, park, or local charities, also working with LBH and Lampton 360 to offer new modern community space to the 100+ community groups that require new premises in the coming years. As part of this, we have also offered to build a bespoke community centre in the grounds of the house and provide funding of up to £ 250,000 (over 3yrs) to provide the necessary equipment and infrastructure to help local youth, creative arts and food bank initiatives that we are already working with in the area.
Local employment – we will be creating hundreds of jobs in the short, medium and long term with this £ 60m+ investment into the local area which will be at the forefront of its regeneration plans. We have been discussing with LBH to provide up to 50 youth training, NVQ, and work place re-integration places during the construction, and there is significant local demand for local micro businesses and creative initiatives to be able to use free or heavily subsidised space in their start-up phase.
Ecology and heritage conservation – we are discussing with the local community (councillors and residents), local historical and arts societies, and Environment Trust the formulation and management of a local conservation, heritage and ecology master plan how the revitalisation of the house, 4ha of new parkland, and the restoration of the Longford River will be undertaken and managed going forward.
House and Park History
The house and park are key part of both the heritage and history of London and the country as a whole over the last 1,000 years, covering more than 600 years of Royal ownership and history, followed by more than 400yrs of cultural and historic heritage of the role London played across two world wars and the development of aviation history. In the proposed restoration, we would wish to include heritage themes, trails, land marks and stories to remember this history.
A brief summary of the history is as follows -
1052 to 1627 – Much of Hanworth Park and the Manor House / Palace were held by the Royal family and their entourage, most notably by –-
- Ulf (the mercenary) under Edward the confessor by virtue of the Battles of Bosworth, Stamford Bridge and Hastings (in 1066). William the conqueror, then gave the manor to Roger de Montgomery, the Earl of Arundel for his alliance.
- The Mayor of London (twice), Sir Nicholas Brembre who was hung at Tyburn for treason against Richard II in c 1385,
- Henry VII and Henry VIII, both hunted on the park and Hounslow Heath and the house (palace) was their hunting lodge annexed to Hampton Court Palace in the last 1400’s / early 1500’s. Henry VIII gave the house for both Anne Boleyn (and then Katherine Parr) to live in their exile. Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood living at Hanworth Manor / Palace.
- Charles I raised his Ambassador to the peerage in 1631 as Baron Cottington of Hanworth in lieu of negotiating the secret treaty with Spain. When he was exiled, the house was passed to John Bradshaw (1649), who coincidentally had advocated the execution of Charles I.
- The final owner of Hanworth Manor was the 5th Duke of St Albans (Aubrey Beauclerk) in 1781.
c1798 onward – Hanworth Manor / Palace burnt down and was replaced by the current Hanworth Park House (in its new position). The house and park and its various owners can be best remembered in heritage terms for –
- Drawing a parallel with Greenwich “where time began”, Hanworth Park and the house was the starting reference point in 1784 for when the Principal Triangulation of Great Britain began on behalf of the Royal Ordnance by (Sir) William Roy. This project was to take more than 80yrs to complete and was largely driven by the belief that the original latitude and longitude map of the world undertaken some 100yrs earlier was inaccurate. Although the results were inconclusive, this project was the catalyst to trigonometrically join all the significant landmarks across the UK together and introduce the theodolite into our society, which is now used for all land surveys globally. Of course, most people would also remember Hanworth Park for being the home of the ordnance survey maps that we all use today.
- In the early 1800’s – a tower was added to Hanworth Park House to reflect the brewing interests of Henry Perkins, who was one of London’s prominent brewers. However, his contribution to London’s heritage and history is more likely to be remembered for his book collection - sold in 1873 after the death of his son Algernon. The library, sold at Hanworth Park House became the most expensive private library ever sold (in the world), largely because it contained a number of rare books dating back to the 1450’s. The most famous would likely be the Mazarin bible (of 1462) – one of only 180 copies and considered to be amongst the first books to be printed on moveable type face, and also one of the finest books of its time. Today, there are estimated to be less than 50 surviving copies and they would be worth more than £ 20m each !
(3) Alfred Lafone MP purchased HPH in 1874 and lived there until his death in 1911. Although he married into the leather and hide business in London, he would be a most noteworthy resident of HPH and London on account of his initiative to create South London Polytechnics as an alternative to the traditional “red brick” universities, of which Goldsmiths College is arguably now the most famous in London. Clearly, this also placed London at the nexus of providing further education and creative training to a much wider social community.
- From 1915, the British Red Cross occupied Hanworth Park House for the recuperation of wounded servicemen, and between 1915 and 1917, Hanworth Park became the most prominent site for aviation and aviation history within the UK.
- John Whitehead (a carpenter cum timber dealer) bought a large part of the Park and surrounding area to build 100 MF11 Shorthorns for the War Office, and subsequently to deliver more than 820 Sopwith Pups and 500 Airco DH9’s (Whitehead’s final production in 1919) in a few short years.
- Hanworth Park also became known as London Air Park in 1917, and was where aircraft were tested before being accepted by the RFC (the predecessor of the RAF), and a flying school where pilots were trained. There a number of local heritage events being planned to celebrate the centennial of this given how it defined the nature of the local history.
- By 1916, Whitehead employed more than 600 people on the site manufacturing various aircraft, and this increased to more than 2,000 by the time Whitehead was dissolved in 1920 after the war. During these few short years, more than 325,000 sq ft(8 acres) of industrial hangars and service warehouses were built in the grounds around the house and the endeavours of a large local work force were often credited to being pivotal in the conclusion of the first world war to create an aerial supremacy over the German air fleet.
- During the 1920’s, although technically bankrupt, Whitehead expanded his vision that Hanworth would become the home of private and public flight to also become the home of the motor industry. In 1924 Aston Martin moved their facilities to Hanworth Park, where they remained for some 30yrs and created many of the iconic DB series cars that set the pace for the British motor racing industry for decades dominating the race-track. In the last 1920’s a large part of the site also became home for the construction of the ‘feltham trolley’, the first of many trams used across London.
- In 1929, the house and the park were re-connected when the Government launched a country wide network of National Flying Services with 71 public and private flight clubs (and training facilities) across the UK, with Hanworth Park House as the UK headquarters. It was opened by the Duchess of Bedford, and launched a twenty year period of immense fame and aeronautical significance for Hanworth Park House and the London Air Park.
- Something maybe to be celebrated for London and the house in its restoration - the Kings Cup set off from Hanworth in 1930, and was won by a 22 year old woman (Winifred Brown), which was unheard of in a post war era of male pilots and when she would not even had the right to vote a year before !
- Although the club and house suffered financial distress during the 1930’s (with the house being converted from a club house to a hotel for a few years) – it enjoyed spectacular popularity with famous visitors; the rarely seen Japanese Royal family, Louis Bleriot, Bert Hinkler (1st solo crossing of Atlantic), CW Scott (who flew from Hanworth to Australia and back in a gypsy moth), King Alfonso of Spain, Robert Kronfeld (1st glider over London), the Graf Zeppelin visited the house in 1931 and 1932 (drawing more than a hundred thousand people each time), Amelia Earhart in 1932 after her solo flight from Newfoundland to Ireland, Charles Lindeburgh in 1936, and Amy Johnson christening the first purpose built flying ambulance at Hanworth.
- A decade before Heathrow was to be thought about, Hanworth became the airport for high profile international flight and where aircraft were showcased. The autogyro in 1933 was an excellent and innovative example of how London and Hanworth led the world in aeronautical development.
- The 2nd World War yet again saw Hanworth Park House be used as a hospital for injured soldiers, whilst the Airpark was used as a base for the “London gliders” and also to service spitfires and a variety of other war time aircraft.
- As the war ended, GAL moved to large premises outside of the borough and flying was terminated from the Air Park. EMI Thorn moved into the park. In 1953, the house was sold to the Council, and was used as a residential care home for the elderly until 1992, when it was last in use.
27th September Post Area Forum Update
I am told that the local ward councillors have requested a public meeting with the LBH Development Management Team to better appreciate their perspective and thinking on both the recommendation for refusal, but to also give local people the opportunity to ask their questions.
As part of this process, there are two key issues that are more relevant to the local community than they are for anyone else -
1 - The input of the public in the assessment of "public benefits". It is unclear what consultation and consideration (if any) has been undertaken by LBH in how they formed their conclusion around public benefits. We have been told on several occasions by LBH that the local residents are NOT supportive, and there are more objections than letters of support. I can only ask those people who do wish to express their support and have views on the level of public benefits (as laid out on https://www.hanworthparkhouse.london/proposed-scheme/…) - please send an email to email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
expressing your views on public benefits / support for the scheme as soon as possible. Without a doubt, it would be very compelling if LBH receive emails from several hundred local people ... (please feel free to cc me in on any email)
2 - Hanworth Park House, and the broader Hanworth Air Park are clearly seen as the most important heritage assets to the people of Hanworth and Feltham, with an overwhelming desire to see the house and grounds restored, and brought back into use. I have very much enjoyed being part of this process and to see the desire and enthusiasm to preserve and protect the dwindling local history and heritage. Both Historic England and Environment Trust have confirmed their full support for the restoration and regeneration of the house and grounds on numerous occasions.
The Council, for their part, and the current planning officers have also said (on record) -
- In August 2015, LBH "want to work together with AGC to see the listed building restored", and we agreed a Planning Performance Agreement on this basis such that we could resolve their outstanding concerns. By November 2015, both LBH and HE confirmed "that in their view, a case can be made to support the proposed development, noting that although harm would be created, the works to the house provide sufficient public benefit to justify and outweigh any perceived harm" (in line with the 2 other planning consents).
- In para 7.4 of the current hotel consent confirmed by Marilyn Smith In November 2016, "the principal reason to justify the very special circumstance is the restoration of Hanworth Park House, an important heritage asset to Hounslow and the nation".
- In Para 7.7 of the same LBH report, they stressed the importance under NPPF of finding economically viable uses for listed buildings and that considerable weight should be attached to a financially viable scheme which would rescue the listed building and secure its future. It concluded that “the case for an enabling development of this scale to provide the very special circumstances necessary to justify a departure from Green Belt policy is considered to be well founded”
- In Para 7.10 of the same LBH report, they state that “as with the green belt policy, the justification for a departure from the Council’s policies depends principally on the restoration of the listed building”.
- LBH concluded in their report of November 2016 that ;
(1) "the Council has a duty to seek a satisfactory outcome to the listed building being vacant and at risk",
(2) that the impact on the green belt has been assessed, and whilst there would be some loss of openness, the harm is not considered to be great and landscaping measures would go a considerable way to mitigating the harm", and
(3) the restoration of the listed building itself is considered to constitute the very special circumstances that would justify a departure from the UDP.
- In June 2017, Brendon Walsh and Shane Baker said there was "an agreement to focus the collective efforts to revise current proposals to a point where LBH can support the very special circumstances to justify deviating from existing planning policy. Specific focus on resolving outstanding queries from Historic England and LBH Conservation as previously highlighted as the principle outstanding issues preventing LBH support, and paring back development to site of existing hotel consent”
So, the big question really is ....Given everything the Council have said over the past 10yrs around wanting to see the house restored and arguing that the restoration itself created the "very special circumstances" - why has their position changed ??
Maybe another great question if you are sending an email ...
Of course - I will update this group as and when we hear anything from LBH re the meeting.
16th September - Key Public Benefits
We wanted to provide some further detail around the key public benefits that we are proposing -
Hanworth Park House - community access and use
We have agreed with LBH and HE that the highest quality restoration will occur in –
1 - the grand ballroom – c 1,000 sq ft
2 – the two adjacent (south and east facing) function rooms (including the area to the left of the main entrance hall) – c 1,000 sq ft
These rooms will have direct access from the south and east terraces and also into the inner courtyard to provide further amenity / entertaining space and a total of c 10,000 sq ft of publicly accessible community space for local clubs, societies, charities and businesses to use, mainly during the day, but also for some pre-booked evening events. Toilets, storage and a small kitchen preparation area will be built into this area.
The house will incorporate a museum and a "pop-up" cafe, as well as being available for meetings and functions use. The community areas will be accessible directly from the park and via a 2 acre amenity garden from Forest Road.
We are talking with Environment Trust to help set up the museum, and there have been a number of suggestions how to involve local historical societies, schools and volunteers to create the content and run the museum.
We have also offered to provide a new 2,000 sq ft community centre for local youth and other clubs to use. There are numerous locations that are brownfield (previously built on) and suitable in terms of access, safety and security.
We want the house (with the function rooms, museum, inside and outside and cafe) and this community centre to become a destination in its own right, and to become THE community hub for local residents of Feltham and Hanworth.
Hanworth Air Park / Green Belt regeneration
Hanworth Air Park (166 acres), in its own right is a critical heritage asset to the local community as a former Royal Park, and for its rich (especially aeronautical) history dating back over the last 100 years. It is a core part of the local green belt / MOL and is designated as a grade II Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) (for its biodiversity). It has the Longford River at its heart.
Unfortunately, the site of Hanworth Park House and surrounding woodland, encompassing about 20 acres has been neglected for the last 25yrs, and is currently in very poor condition – mostly inaccessible and overgrown.
Our proposals ensure that the entire site area of currently inaccessible, overgrown and un-managed green belt is restored (via a multi million pound ecology masterplan) and made open and available to the public, along with those areas that connect into the existing park via the existing path-ways, cycle-ways and acidic grasslands. Environment Trust have also indicated their intent to help with this regeneration.
We have offered to work with LBH on various broader park issues such as improving the perimeter security and access points, and also the regeneration of the Longford River (including removing the culvert section).
We have also recently met with LBH Conservation and discussed options that they would see as less loss of the green belt whilst preserving the setting and heritage of the listed building - so remain hopeful that the current concerns can be remedied in the near future.
We will be providing c 200 new high quality (and affordable) homes for local people in an area where there is an acute housing shortage.
More than 60% are expected to cost between £ 225,000 and £ 325,000, with more than 90% below £ 500,000, so we believe to be excellent value and well within the definition of “affordable”. Local people will be given priority to purchase or rent homes.
Outside of the enabling development aspect of this scheme, we have offered to gift the residual AGC land (c 7 acres) to enable up to a further 50 homes to be built in conjunction with a designated HA, on sites previously identified as potentially suitable.
The re-development of Hanworth Park House is a c £ 70m direct investment into the local economy, and a key part of the broader regeneration of Feltham and Hanworth.
It will create hundreds of local jobs in the short term (construction) and across the longer term via the boost to the local shops and restaurants, and of course with the jobs that would be created in and around Hanworth Park.
We have been discussing with LBH to provide up to 50 Youth training / NVQ training places throughout the construction phase, including working with a number of local charities who focus on work place integration.
The Community Interest Levy and land proceeds for this project are more than £ 2m – which we hope will provide local improvements in infrastructure and resources given the traffic and population increase.
11th September Update - The HPH planning application will be up for discussion at the Area Forum on Thursday 14th September at the Feltham Library (7.30pm). Ward councillors / members will then either choose to refer to the Planning Committee or leave as a delegated decision (which will be a refusal).
We understand that the discussion will be more Q&A based, and have therefore produced an information pack to help ensure that as much of the relevant information can be understood prior to the evening. Please see attached - this details a review of the history over the last few planning consents, a review of the public benefits and current scheme, and a rebuttal of the officers' report that has provided for the Area forum.
The absolute essence of the debate is whether the public interests of the green belt area of proposed development are greater than saving the house.
Whilst the house has declined over the last 25yrs to the point of collapse, there have been a number of planning consents designed to effect a restoration of the house and provide a viable use for future generations. They may have looked and sounded great - but all of them have been flawed, unviable, and un-achievable.
We have proposed numerous alternative (and reduced) schemes to reflect differing restoration strategies (and costs) - with the latest using less footprint coverage area than the current consent, and at the same time, creating more than 10 acres of new regenerated green belt. Over the last 3yrs, we have repeatedly asked LBH what would they approve - they tell us they have "racked their brains to find a solution", but never once made a suggestion of what would be acceptable, other than to deliver the hotel scheme ! (for which the numbers simply do not work with the house remaining upright).
For our part, I do not believe we could have tried harder to find a solution or be more flexible in how we balance the green belt / house restoration costs. I firmly believe that "kicking the can" down the road will effectively condemn the house.
The decision whether to save the house and the public interest is now very much with the Councillors, members and public.
I am available all week to answer questions you may have that are better answered outside of the forum - so please email or facebook me in need.
"Bank Holiday Update" - Basically, ignore previous update ! After actually agreeing a "less harmful" location - it turned out to be the precise location of the existing hotel consent - which also happened to be the location that the numerous conservation consultants (inc LBH Design Officer and Conservation Officer) said was the "most harmful"..
Anyway, as we have maintained for the last 3yrs, we are pretty flexible (as long as the proposal looks excellent !) and thus re-cut the scheme to look somewhat like the image alongside - we have also significantly reduced the footprint and scale of development after a further cost cutting exercise at the request of LBH. Oh - and we have added in a new 2.5 acre amenity park area to replace the derelict and inaccessible part of the park from Forest Road down to the house !
Unfortunately, LBH then told us that they were still minded to recommend refusal anyway on the basis that "the house is not worth saving, versus the green belt considerations" (ignoring the existing consent). We are meeting with Historic England, LBH Conservation Officers and Environment Trust next week on site (who are all very supportive to find a solution to restore the house and grounds) to discuss potential other solutions to discuss with LBH Development Management - so we are still hopeful a solution can be found.
The excellent news is that a number of local Councillors have requested that the planning team making the decision on HPH also incorporate the wider views of local residents and interest groups who do wish the house to be saved in their decision making process (which they have not to date) given the importance of the House to the wider local area, both looking backwards (for its history) and forwards (for the intended regeneration of the area). This may mean that we are at the Area Forum on the 14th September at Feltham Library (7.30pm) TBC.
I would suggest anyone wishing to support the scheme to either ; (1) let me or their local Councillor know of their support and opinions, or come along to the Area Forum (if confirmed), or (2), fill in the survey - the response thus far has been amazing (99% of respondents support the house restoration ..).
I should say lastly, that we are talking with Environment Trust about having them involved in a few community restoration projects focused on the Longford River, Grand Ballroom restoration and the new amenity landscaping that will be required. These will all be projects and opportunities for those people who love the park and house to be involved with going forward.
Updated alternative proposal - August 2017 - "less harmful" as proposed by LBH -
Notwithstanding the fact that we spent 2yrs working with LBH and HE to put together the previous scheme, largely on the basis of re-connecting the main house back into the park setting, making effective use of a large tract of derelict land, and bringing back into use several acres of previously inaccessible green belt - LBH are now suggesting that we revert back to the location, format and design of the buildings that relate to the current approved consent for the hotel - instead using these for residential use. We are now progressing this with them, which should significantly reduce (or remove) much of the current proposed development, and the associated landscaping restoration. Watch this space ...
Original Proposal - formulated after 18mths working with LBH and Historic England -
By employing an enabling development approach, we are proposing the restoration of Hanworth Park House and the surrounding park landscape to a largely residential scheme, accompanied by several thousand square feet of community space in and around the house.
We have tried to emulate the footprint from the consented hotel scheme, but have very deliberately kept the housing away from the main Hanworth Park House (which Historic England and LBH Conservation concurred with) to ensure that the restored Hanworth Park House "re-connecting" with the main Hanworth Park is a key feature of the proposal.
The conservation works, buildings and spaces have been conceived with maximum consideration of the sustainability agenda and accord with considered market research in relation to commercial opportunities and constraints.
The intention from the outset is for the proposal to represent a viable opportunity to convert and refurbish the existing Hanworth Park House. The proposal will:
- Create a total of c220 residential dwellings comprising a number of three and four bed terraced houses and a larger number of flats and duplex units;
- Visually reconnect the existing house with Hanworth Park;
- Create a new use for the vacant and dilapidated existing house;
- Create a new landscaped green spaces, which connect the enabled development with Hanworth Park;
- Provide communal spaces in the form of the Linear Park, residential square and existing Ballroom within Hanworth Park House, which can be used for a variety of functions;
- Ensure all elements are designed in a sensitive manner, both respecting the existing house as well as the surrounding parkland setting.
The proposals have been carefully considered and designed to accord with a detailed analysis of the site and surrounding area and as such are considered indigenous to the location.
The scheme has evolved over the last three years and taken on board feedback and direction from many stakeholders and interested parties to get to where it is today. Over the last few months, LBH planners have made a number of cost saving changes to the original scheme for the restoration of the house in order to reduce the quantum of development, and make it more palatable / less contentious.
The scheme will be "set in stone” as we head toward a final planning determination / recommendation, but is always open for comments and recommendations...
Please visit the the Overview section to see a letter from the owner setting out the background and current position. Thanks.