Hounslow Council

Agenda item

Update on the Duke of Northumberland River project - Gaye Galvin (LBH)

Please note that Ms Galvin will also respond to matters raised in the submitted petition on Silverhall Park and Mill Plat.


See submitted petition submitted by the Friends of Silverhall Park requesting the retention of the ivy covered wooden fence along Mill PLatt and to have a proper management of Silverhall Park on both sides of the Duke of Northumberland River, together with the Duke of Northumberland River Project Update, Agenda Item 6.


Gaye Galvin, Parks Projects Manager, provided an update on the work undertaken to date and responded to the issues raised within the submitted petition.  She provided assurance that the fence was not proposed for removal in the near future, as the Council wanted to work with residents to produce a suitable solution.  Officers would work together with local residents and key stakeholders on options for future improvements and sustainability of the site.  


Ms Brintha Malingham spoke on behalf of the petitioners, requesting proper management of the park and the retention of the ivy covered wooden fence on grounds both of the amenity and security provided by the existing fence.


The discussion that followed included mention of the parks patrol service, which was focused on educating people against ASB. Proposals for the site included clearing overgrown shrubbery and lifting tree crowns to increase visibility and safety. Officers supported the formation of a friends group and the setting up of a management plan and working towards Green Flag status. Members were supportive of the work already achieved on the site and proposals to work together with residents and officers to further improve the park.  It was acknowledged that the ivy was not present when the park opened in 1991 and had been allowed to grow to its current level as a result of reductions in funded maintenance over a number of years, making it vulnerable to falling down.  One suggestion was to replace the fence with hawthorn hedges, as an equally ecological solution.


In response to questions Gaye confirmed that the second phase of proposed works would be carried out by Carillion but that the ecological aspect of this would be carried out with local residents. Carillion would then be responsible for maintaining the park and managing the site on behalf of the Council. 


Gaye stated that trees marked for removal further away from the river may have been identified as dead or dangerous or non-native.  A review was due to be carried out one year on from the initial plan being drawn up.


Stefania Horne, Head of Parks, thanked all for their input.  She suggested that a list of options could be drawn up and put out for consultation.  The results of that consultation would then form the way forward for the site.  It was suggested that visual representations could be produced to illustrate the various options and petitioners asked that these drawings and options were co-produced so that local residents and the existing Friends of Silverhall Park were afforded input at the earliest design stages.


Concerns were raised by a resident in respect of the conduct of Park Guard staff and allegations of the somewhat overzealous working practices by some patrol officers.  The Council was asked to look into this as a matter of urgency.  Rob Gray, Chair of the Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE), drew attention to the river walk from Twickenham to Isleworth, which was opened 1991 but closed around seven years ago.  He stressed the importance of getting the plans right so that the community didn’t lose out on a wonderful opportunity.


Redlees Park, Isleworth Update:

Gaye confirmed that a summary of the Masterplan for the park was on the Council’s website for reference.  The top priority was to build a new playground for the park and work was progressing on this priority.  Additional funding streams were also being sought to finance the other areas of the masterplan.


Gunnersbury Park, Brentford Update:

Gaye provided an update on the work being carried out on the small mansion which had an expected completion of Spring 2017.  The large mansion was expected to be completed in early 2018.  Work was expected to begin on the Sports Hub this autumn with a soft launch of the facility planned for 2019. 


It was suggested that proposals could be submitted for preferred uses for the small mansion stable block.  Councillor Louki suggested moving the library archives, currently held on two sites, into the stable block so that they could be displayed and enjoyed by visitors in future. Stefania Horne agreed to take this suggestion back to David Stockdale as the manager of the Gunnersbury site.



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